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Jun 24

Mayor's Letter to the Community regarding the June 20, 2015 storm

Posted on June 24, 2015 at 3:12 PM by Laura Oldham

June 24, 2015


degrawlogo.jpgDear Neighbors,

The continual and heavy downpour of rain last Saturday created a great deal of street, lawn and basement flooding throughout our community, including the flooding of streets and basements not seen in the 39 years I have lived here. The ground was so saturated that the soil could not absorb the water. City crews were out monitoring our sanitary sewer and storm water lines during the storm to make sure there were no obstructions or flow issues. The two systems had no obstructions and were flowing at 100% capacity.

I had the city engineer evaluate the duration and rainfall to estimate the storm impact. It is estimated that the storm was a 20-year storm (meaning a storm that you only see about every 20 years). A storm with that quantity of rain and duration exceeds the design capacity of the storm water system.  

The City has received a little more than 40 calls from residents that had water come through their basement walls and/or up through their basement drains. To this point the City has been very aggressive on taking on projects that serve to prevent the input and infiltration of storm water into the sanitary system to reduce backup into homes in our City. Over the last 30 years the City has invested millions of dollars to repair and improve the sanitary and storm sewer lines that are in our community. The City has tested and filmed the sanitary lines throughout the City and repaired and relined as needed. We have smoke tested throughout the City to identify storm water lines (downspouts) that are tapped into the sanitary sewer and have disconnected them. The City has committed to fund and address the EPA Director’s Findings of Facts and Orders over the next 10 years to bring the City into compliance. 

Some of the infiltration occurs on the private side of the system. The majority of our homes were built in an era when foundation drains and sanitary drains were tied together. Backup can occur by the inability of the private line to carry the water away from the house fast enough due to a private line issue or the main sanitary line running at full capacity restricting additional water being added. Likewise if the sanitary system is overloaded it will seek low areas to back up.   

We continue to review all information related to the impact of the storm. The City is committed to reducing storm water infiltration into our sanitary lines and to improve our storm sewer system. Grandview Heights’ sanitary sewer system is one part of a big area system. Our neighbor communities that are part of the same system are also investing to improve the system.  

To address a more immediate need, City crews will be picking up damaged items, carpet and furniture at no charge for the next two weeks. We ask that if the carpet is waterlogged it be cut into a size that the crews can handle to load onto the trucks.


Mayor Ray E. DeGraw
1016 Grandview Avenue
Grandview Heights, OH 43212
Phone: 614.488.3159
Fax: 614.488.7746