Ohio EPA Persuades Brice Suburb to Stop Stormwater

The village of Brice is the latest Columbus suburb to join a groundbreaking agreement with Ohio EPA to protect public health and the environment by reducing sewage overflows.

In February 2009, Ohio EPA approved an agreement with 20 suburban communities whose sewer collection systems tie into the city of Columbus' sewer system and wastewater treatment plants. The goal of this agreement is to reduce the inflow of clean stormwater into the sanitary sewer system. This excessive stormwater causes sewer overflows, backed-up sewers, and bacterial contamination throughout the metropolitan area.

"I commend Brice for participating in this plan," said Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski. "When all the communities involved begin implementing the work under this agreement, we'll be able to accomplish a lot of good."

Participating suburbs and sewer districts include: Bexley, Brice, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, Jefferson Water and Sewer District, Marble Cliff, Minerva Park, New Albany, Obetz, Reynoldsburg, Riverlea, Shawnee Hills, Urbancrest, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall and Worthington.

Franklin County has expressed its intent to participate. Ohio EPA had expected the county to join the agreement by now, but the county has yet to secure approval from its commissioners. Additionally, the village of Valleyview did not actively participate in the process of crafting the agreement and has yet to formally approve the plan. While Ohio EPA hopes to still secure an agreement with these communities, the agency will seek other enforcement avenues if necessary to ensure that all communities are doing their part to address their respective share of the system.

"I'm so thankful for the support of all the mayors, village administrators, city council members, and many others who are working to make this plan a success," Korleski said. "Aging sewer systems can cause a lot of problems, but this partnership is dedicated to working on the solutions that will significantly improve water quality."