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Our Region’s Water:

Protecting. Preserving. Promoting.

The Miami Conservancy


District protects
communities in
theDeed
The Miami Conservancy District’s Annual Report to the Miami Valley 2010

Expensive fix
Southwest Ohio from
flooding, preserves the
quality and quantity of
water, and promotes
Potential underseepage at levees
the enjoyment of our Miami Conservancy District levees have “We’re working to determine how many miles
waterways. withstood every storm event since their of levee will need improvements,” says Janet
construction nearly 90 years ago. But an Bly, MCD general manager. “The analysis is
extensive engineering analysis has revealed a under way in Butler, Warren, and Miami counties
potential vulnerability with the foundation of but hasn’t yet begun in Montgomery County.
the levees. Since the foundations all have similar geology,
it’s likely there could be problem areas in
MCD is doing the engineering analysis to
each county.”
comply with the Federal Emergency Management
Agency’s (FEMA) effort to update flood Unfortunately, if a levee section doesn’t meet
insurance rate maps nationwide. For levees to every single requirement, FEMA will deaccredit
be shown on the new maps as offering protection, that levee section. This means cities will have
the levees must protect to the 100-year flood to enforce floodplain regulations regarding
(a storm event that has a 1-percent chance of development, and many homeowners will be
occurring in any given year). required to purchase flood insurance. Flood
insurance is available to virtually everyone but
“There are eight different requirements that each
Workers drill deep into currently is optional. (More information on
the levee to retrieve soil levee section must pass, “says Kurt Rinehart,
flood insurance)
samples for analysis. MCD chief engineer. “After extensive studies in
Butler and Warren counties where FEMA began “It’s important to note that if a levee section is
the process locally, MCD levees have exceeded deaccredited, that doesn’t mean the levee will
most of the standards. One area of concern is fail,” Bly says. “The probability of a storm
foundation stability or underseepage.” large enough to put this kind of pressure on the
levees remains small, and the risk of piping is
Underseepage is water that seeps through a
even smaller. Plus, there are flood-fighting steps
dam or levee foundation. Water flowing under
that can be taken to further reduce the risk of
pressure through the foundation soils can cause
levee failure. And remember, these levees have
soil particles to move, creating voids in the
withstood every storm since 1922.”
foundation which in turn allow more water to
flow. This situation is called piping because the The process
flow creates a “pipe” in the foundation and can More than 18 miles of levee have been evaluated
lead to instability and potential levee failure. in Butler and Warren counties, and another
Science was not advanced enough to know 7.5 miles of levee in Miami County are under
about the effects of underseepage when the review. FEMA provides only a two-year window
MCD dams and levees were built. MCD has to complete the extensive review and submit
addressed underseepage at three of its five dams the report including detailed data, drawings and
and expects to finish capital improvements at analyses for each levee section.
Englewood and Lockington dams by next year.
Underseepage story continued on page 8.
2

Protecting
“The concrete below the
waterline is in excellent
Dam Safety Initiative
In 1999, MCD began a multi-year Dam Safety At Englewood Dam, MCD installed additional
shape,” says Kurt Rinehart, Initiative (DSI) capital improvement plan to ensure relief wells in 2009. A weighted toe berm and toe
MCD chief engineer, “but the integrity of the dams for future generations. drains will complete the underseepage control.
The schedule was aggressive and the costs
there are problems above were conservative. Concrete repairs needed at the dams
the waterline—a result of The plans called for addressing underseepage— As part of the DSI, MCD completed a thorough
water that seeps through a dam’s foundation inspection of the concrete at Lockington Dam. In
freezing and thawing over and can lead to dam failure—at all five dams by 2009, MCD hired a contractor to dewater the dam’s
constructing projects along the downstream toes east conduit to inspect the concrete.
the years.” of the dams.
The plans also included modifying the crest at three The dam’s concrete was visually inspected for
dams by constructing impermeable cut-off walls to cracking and spalling (surface pieces falling off),
prevent stored flood waters from seeping through and the entire surface was mapped. In addition,
Workers inspect concrete in the embankments. In addition, major repairs workers drilled into the concrete, taking samples to
the dewatered stilling basin would be made to concrete at the dams. Concrete be analyzed at a lab.
at Lockington Dam. floodwalls and revetment would be replaced at
MCD last inspected the concrete in the 1970s and
several locations.
subsequently performed repairs to the concrete.
By the end of 2009, MCD had: The 2009 inspection showed a good news/bad
news scenario.
n Addressed underseepage at three of the five dams
(Germantown, Taylorsville and Huffman) using “The concrete below the waterline is in excellent
combinations of relief wells, weighted toe berms shape,” says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer,
and toe drains. “but there are problems above the waterline—a
result of freezing and thawing over the years.”
n Completed relief well projects at the other
two dams (Englewood and Lockington) along with Despite needing repair, there is no immediate
a weighted toe berm and toe drain project threat to the dam. The deterioration, however, will
at Lockington Dam. continue if not repaired. Repairs to Lockington
Dam concrete will be more extensive than in the
n Completed crest walls at Huffman, Taylorsville past, with some repair work as deep as 2 feet into
and Englewood dams. MCD completed crest the spillway walls. The total estimated cost for
remediation projects at Germantown and repairs to Lockington Dam concrete is about
Lockington dams before the DSI in 1970 and 1993, $10 million.
respectively.
“Given that the concrete at the dams is about 90
n Repaired concrete revetment and floodwalls years old, it has held up very well,” Rinehart says,
in Troy, Dayton, and Hamilton. “but like bridges and roads and other concrete
n Completed concrete inspection at Lockington structures, repairs are necessary and can be
Dam. expensive.”
Although MCD hasn’t inspected the concrete at the
Final underseepage projects other four dams, it anticipates similar findings at
The geology at Lockington Dam is more complex each. MCD will add the concrete repair projects at
than at the other four dams. The dam’s foundation the dams to its list of capital improvement projects
sits on fractured limestone bedrock. The unique that will be needed in the coming years.
geology required more testing—and creativity—
to determine a solution to control the underseepage.
While relief wells and weighted toe berms have
been installed to help address the problem, grouting
of four large areas in the foundation east and west
of the spillway also is necessary. Grouting is
expected to start in 2010.
3

2009 high water


events Flood Protection

When it comes to high-water events, 2009 was Like virtually every


significant not because of the size of the events but community and organization
for the lack of it. in the watershed, MCD has
been looking carefully at its
Consider this: budget and tightening its belt.
Some of the actions we have
n For the first time in 16 years, there were no high
taken include:
water events big enough to cause all five dams to
store water simultaneously, according to MCD n Freezing wages for 2010
records. n Reducing health insurance
n In all, there were 13 storage events—when the benefits
pool elevation exceeds the top of the dam outlet n Restricting travel
conduits—about a third less than the 19 events we n Obtaining grants from state/

Floodwall exercise
average each year. federal sources
n None of the 13 storage events had more than n Revising equipment
two dams storing floodwaters at any one time. replacement schedules to
Practice makes perfect delay equipment purchases
n Huffman Dam did not have any storage events
in 2009—the first time that’s happened in 19 years. It would take a massive storm—even larger than n Using seasonal staff in place
the 1913 flood—for the river in downtown Dayton of full-time staff when
The largest event of 2009 took place February 8- to rise high enough to flow through the open possible
12, resulting in total peak storage of 10,955 acre- levee at RiverScape. Still, MCD prepares for
feet (3.6 billion gallons). The high water event was all possibilities.
triggered by melting snow on February 8 and 9,
followed by 0.7 to 1.2 inches of rain falling within That’s why staff members from MCD, the City of
the Great Miami River Watershed on February 10, Dayton and Five Rivers MetroParks installed a Flood Protection Revenues
11, and 12. The heaviest rainfall occurred north floodwall at the RiverScape plaza last fall as part of (2009 Actual)
of Dayton in Darke, Miami, Logan, and Shelby a flood protection exercise.
counties. n Assessments ($4,422,356)
“When RiverScape was developed, a portion of the
n Intergovernmental ($135,202)
“From a financial standpoint the lack of high- levee was removed,” says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief
engineer. “The floodwall provides protection for n Other ($120,348)
water events was beneficial in that we didn’t have
a lot of costs in overtime,” says Janet Bly, MCD that section of the levee should the water ever get n Fees & Charges ($107,276)
general manager. “In this economy, every little bit that high. Every few years, we work with the City n Interest ($38,348)
of savings helps.” of Dayton and MetroParks to practice installing
the floodwall to keep everyone current on the
procedure.”
To install the floodwall, caps are removed from the
plaza floor area and posts put into the openings.
A backhoe is used to install sections of aluminum
stoplogs. The main floodwall is about 3 or 4 feet
high and about 160 feet wide with another smaller
opening—about 30 feet wide­—west of the plaza.
The installation takes about three hours.

For the first time in 19 years, Huffman


Dam had no storage events.
4

Preserving
Take-back program keeps drugs out of water supply

DUMP unused medications


One in 10 high school seniors admits to abusing The Miami Conservancy District worked with
prescription painkillers, often found in parents’ DUMP campaign organizers to promote six DUMP
or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. Properly events in the last half of 2009. Together, the events
disposing of unwanted medications can be tricky. collected nearly 120,400 pills, more than 7,850
They shouldn’t be flushed because trace amounts inhalers and other materials. MCD also worked
are being found in our rivers and streams. with the City of Miamisburg on a prescription take-
Throwing them in the trash isn’t a good option back program that collected more than 22,600 pills.
either. But there is another way. Residents can
take advantage of the Dispose of Unwanted The events were part of an overall effort by MCD to
Medications Properly (DUMP) events. raise awareness of pharmaceuticals in our streams
and aquifers, and the need to dispose of unwanted
medications without polluting our water supplies. 
The United States Geological Survey says water
samples from across the country and locally are
showing traces of drugs in our rivers, streams,
groundwater and untreated drinking water sources.
 All of the prescriptions collected are disposed
of safely and responsibly without impact
to the environment. The DUMP events are
sponsored by MCD and Help Out Ohio, a
local non-profit organization. Check out upcoming
DUMP events in your area.

Water Resources Report


for the Great Miami River
Watershed documents
the overall state of water
resources in the watershed H2Open for Business
for 2008. The report
focuses on the buried valley
Group highlights water to bring jobs to region
aquifer and water quality
and quantity. The report is Water – 21st century gold, some say. The Great Already the group has landed the 2010 national
available on the MCD Miami River Watershed and its buried valley conference of the Water Innovations Alliance to be
web site. aquifer are rich with it, yet many people hardly held in Dayton in May. The Alliance is an industry
notice. But that’s beginning to change. association focused on developing and promoting
cutting-edge water technologies and the problems
In April of 2009, the Dayton Development
they solve. The Alliance’s previous conference
Coalition launched its H2Open for Business
was held in Chicago in 2009 with more than
campaign featuring the abundance of good
300 attendees.
quality water to attract new, conservation-minded
businesses to the region. “While we—in the Dayton Region—have an
abundant water supply, we don’t take it for granted,”
The campaign began with a news conference hosted
says Jim Leftwich, president and CEO of the
at the Miami Conservancy District (MCD) and an
Dayton Development Coalition. “Several local
ad in the Wall Street Journal.
counties partner with the Miami Conservancy
A group of local government, education and District to study and report on the sustainability
business leaders­—including MCD staff­— of this vital resource.”
continues to meet to coordinate efforts that
Learn more about the Dayton Water Conference.
promote the Dayton Region as water-rich both
in quantity and expertise.
5

Project helps map aquifer’s future Aquifer Preservation Revenues


In the future when local decision makers need to “Let’s say a business wants to drill three new (2009 Actual)
know how decisions—such as a new pumping well pumping wells,” Ekberg says, “using this baseline
n Assessments ($912,370)
—might affect the aquifer, they’ll have a new tool information, we can model how it will affect
to help them. MCD has completed contour maps the aquifer.” n Grants ($42,685)
between Middletown and south of Miamisburg. n Interest ($8,703)
MCD previously completed map contouring
“It gives us a snapshot—a picture in time of water projects from New Baltimore (south of Hamilton)
stored, the direction it’s moving and the speed or to Middletown. Over time, MCD plans to complete
flow,” says Mike Ekberg, MCD water resources map contouring along the Great Miami River
manager. “We can then compare these baseline throughout the watershed. The next project will
results to future snapshots to see what changes focus on the area between Miamisburg and Dayton.
have occurred.”
The results also can be used as a model to show
effects of certain projects on the aquifer.

MCD by the numbers


Sometimes the goal of cleaning up our waterways During a training
can seem overwhelming. How can one person, one event on preventing
event, one program really make a difference? pollution at municipal
You might be surprised. facilities, stormwater
managers study a site
MCD successes by the numbers in 2009
to determine what
120,000 — The number of pounds of nitrogen/ practical changes
phosphorus that will be removed over 15 years from could reduce runoff
our waterways through 45 new Water Quality Credit and potential spills.
Trading projects funded in 2009.
30, 65, 6 — The number of citizen, students and
teachers trained as volunteer Miami Valley Stream
Team monitors in 2009. These volunteers monitor
the quality of area streams and waterways.
$103,750 — Funds awarded to three communities
partnering with MCD to implement projects that
288 and 945 — The number of private-well protect the region’s drinking water. The projects
owners who took advantage of free nitrate testing include innovative practices that prevent runoff
in the Test Your Well program in 2009, and the total by allowing precipitation to infiltrate, easing
participants since Test Your Well began in 2007. flooding on streets and sidewalks, and removing
contaminants from storm water. Another project
involves developing a model to determine the
source water protection area for a city’s well field.
$47,427 — The grant amount given to MCD
from The Ohio Environmental Education Fund of
the Ohio EPA to train 50 storm water managers
and 200 municipal maintenance staff members
about storm water pollution prevention in the Great
Miami River Watershed.
Stream Team Teaches
volunteers how to
640, 680 and 2,140 — The number of
test water quality pounds of trash, recyclables and tires collected
in local rivers and by MCD employees during the July 17 Great Miami
streams. River cleanup.
6

Promoting

Great Miami River Recreation Trail


Trail counters “MCD recently provided trail count data to the
You’re being watched – City of Dayton to strengthen its Bike Friendly
Community Application to the League of American
well at least counted Bicyclists,” says Hans Landefeld, Recreation
Trail Manager.
If you ride the Great Miami River Recreation Trail,
you know—by seeing all the people you pass—that MCD installed three counters in May 2009—two
the trails are popular. But have you ever wondered in Montgomery County in Dayton and West
just how much use they really get? We have. Carrollton and one in Warren County in Franklin.
There can be a lot at stake with accurate trail From June through November 2009, more than
counts. That’s why MCD invested in three trail 25,000 people were counted at the three locations.
counters in 2009 and will be adding two more The two remaining counters will be placed in
in 2010. Moraine to provide additional data on trail usage.
Trail counts: Great Miami River Recreation Trail construction
MCD supports the efforts of communities and park
n Help identify the months and days of the
districts to construct and maintain recreation trails
week when trail use is highest, allowing MCD
on MCD property. MCD reviews the plans for each
to increase trail maintenance during high-use
project to ensure it doesn’t affect the operation or
times and reduce maintenance during lower-use
maintenance of the flood protection system.
periods.
Play It Safe! “Major gaps are closing rapidly, especially in the
n Provide statistics to ODOT to justify detours
north, on this 90-mile trail,” Landefeld says.
You wouldn’t ride your around state construction projects rather than just
bike without a helmet. You closing the trails for the duration of a project. Piqua
wouldn’t run through an The City of Piqua partnered with the Miami
n Identifywhere the highest and lowest use is, County Park District to complete a 2.75-mile trail
intersection without look-
ing both ways first. So why helping to determine if additional or improved extension. The new trail section travels south from
would you ever consider access is needed. Lock Nine Park. About 25 percent of the new trail
kayaking on a river without a n Allow MCD to provide firm numbers about section is on land owned by MCD.
life vest or a safety map? We trail use to city councils and administrators, Concord Township (Miami County)
hope you wouldn’t. helping them understand the impact trails have The Miami County Park District completed a 1.8-
That’s why for the past sever- in their community. mile trail extension north from Eldean Road. About
al years MCD has sponsored 1 mile of this extension is on land owned by MCD.
n Help
identify hour-of-day use trends
the Play It Safe! campaign
(commuter versus recreational use). Middletown
and free river safety maps.
The maps are available for The City of Middletown completed a new 1.9-mile
n Help bolster grant applications when asking
the Great Miami, Mad and addition to the trail. Middletown has obtained a
for funds to expand a trail.
Stillwater rivers. Each map $490,600 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block
features information about Grant from the Department of Energy to build an
river hazards, how to stay additional 1.8 miles of trail.
safe on the river, and access
points to the river.
Order your free maps.
7

Riders explore cities in Handrail


River Rides accents
When people think of the Great Miami River river flow River Corridor
Recreation Trail, they often associate it with fitness Improvement Revenues
A great place to take a stroll in downtown Dayton is
and transportation. But as 160 participants in the (2009 Actual)
the Dayton RiverWalk—a shaded gravel walkway
summer River Rides learned, the ride is only half
looking over the river from the Main Street Bridge n Assessments ($249,223)
the fun—exploring the charming cities along the
to the Dayton View Bridge. It sits atop the floodwall
trail can be even better. n Intergovernmental ($214,000)
behind the Wine Gallery, First Baptist Church, the
Landing, YMCA and Code Credit Union. n Grants ($101,508)
“Our experience in Troy was eye opening,” said Jim
Elking. “The downtown area is very interesting, n Interest ($13,124)
A new handrail along the Dayton RiverWalk has
architecturally and (has a) variety of businesses.
improved safety after a badly deteriorated railing
The materials we were given made us aware of so
was replaced. A wave design in the railing is
many things in Troy that we did not know existed.”
intended to mimic the flow of the river. Besides the
MCD sponsored the two River Rides—a south ride RiverWalk, MCD replaced handrailing at four other
featuring the cities of Miamisburg and Franklin locations – Helena Street at Riverside Drive, Robert
and a north ride in Troy. The rides were part of the Boulevard at Third Street, Edwin Moses Boulevard
Drive Less, Live More campaign which encourages just downstream of US 35 and at the Tait Station
drivers to take the bus, bike, walk or carpool Low Dam parking lot. In all, about 2,850 feet of
whenever possible. railing was replaced.
Each ride was about 14 miles long. Besides
exploring the recreation trail, riders visited
historical landmarks and businesses in the cities. Middletown
“Two of my friends joined me for this wet and
Boat ramp improves access to
gloomy ride,” said Andi Miner of the Troy ride Great Miami River
which featured a few summer downpours. “We
had never ridden this path before and enjoyed it so Recreation and paddlesports are among the
much we returned several times over the summer.”  most popular and fastest growing of all outdoor
activities. According to the Ohio Department of
MCD—along with the Miami Valley Regional Natural Resources, Ohio saw a 43-percent increase
Planning Commission, the Greater Dayton RTA in canoe and kayak registration from 2003 to 2009.
and Five Rivers MetroParks—sponsored the third About 86,000 kayaks and canoes are now registered
annual Drive Less, Live More campaign in 2009. in Ohio.
Go to drivelesslivemore.org for more information And MCD’s latest hand-carried-boat ramp may help
on the River Ride and 2010 campaign. those numbers climb even higher. MCD completed
construction of a hand-carried-boat ramp just above
the Ohio 73 bridge over the Great Miami River in
the summer of 2009. Previously, the closest hand-
carried-boat ramp was in Germantown.
“We built the boat ramp downstream of the Armco
Low Dam so users won’t have to portage around the
dam,” says Hans Landefeld, MCD trail manager.
“And we picked a location adjacent to the parking
lot that serves the recreation trail. That parking
lot can now be used by cyclists, walkers, skaters,
kayakers and canoeists.”
The boat ramp was built with a $50,000 grant from
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division
of Watercraft and has been open since July.

The new hand-carried-boat ramp just above the Ohio 73 bridge over the Great Miami River
8

Conservancy Court
A message from the general manager
MCD is governed by a
Levee accreditation process creates challenges
Conservancy Court comprised
of one common pleas court judge The Miami Conservancy District (MCD) has Underseepage story continued from page 1
from each of the counties within been a long–time advocate of robust flood Levee accreditation does not guarantee the levee
the Conservancy District bound- protection infrastructure to ensure public safety or its performance, it simply is an indicator of
aries. The Conservancy Court and economic prosperity. MCD supports the
appoints MCD’s Board of compliance with certain FEMA requirements.
FEMA Map Modernization program to update
Directors and Board of Appraisers, Addressing underseepage to meet FEMA
and approves their plans. flood maps and accurately identify flooding risks
across the country. However, MCD—like many standards could require millions – or tens of
communities nationwide—faces challenges in millions – of dollars in capital improvements.
Butler County Even more extensive improvements could be
dealing with the levee accreditation process of
Honorable Keith M. Spaeth
Map Modernization. The process requires that necessary to meet MCD’s Official Plan Flood
Clark County standards, which are higher than a 100-year
Honorable Richard J. O’Neill levees meet rigorous compliance standards to be
accredited by FEMA. New FEMA maps will flood. MCD will calculate the cost of improving
Greene County
Honorable J. Timothy Campbell show accredited levees as providing protection. levees once all of the levee systems have
If levees are not accredited the maps will be been through the levee accreditation process.
Hamilton County
Honorable Robert P. Ruehlman published as though the levees did not exist. These costs would be added to MCD’s capital
Miami County improvement needs.
Honorable Jeffrey M. Welbaum Some of the challenges include:
Montgomery County n Tight deadlines and unexpected costs to
Honorable Barbara P. Gorman Levee Accreditation Process
evaluate the levees and certify that compliance
Preble County standards are met. To even begin the Levee Accreditation process,
Honorable David N. Abruzzo
n Inadequate time and funds to complete
levee owners must provide FEMA information
Shelby County
repairs to levees before the flood insurance (including a Maintenance, Operations and
Honorable James F. Stevenson Inspection manual; maintenance records; and
maps are finalized.
Warren County levee height estimates) that would lead FEMA
Honorable Neal Bronson n Potential economic impacts new flood maps
could have on the communities MCD protects. officials to expect the levee can be accredited.
Below is a brief diagram of the process and
Board of Directors Levee owners have been given only a two-year potential outcomes.
window to complete the extensive evaluation of
their levees. Miami Conservancy District staff Provisionally Accredited Levee (PAL)
is working hard to assure we meet the two-year
Gayle B. Price, Jr. deadline for levee evaluation submittals. FEMA
President has not allowed any time for levee repair.
2 years to submit more in-depth
Reducing the risk of flooding is our primary
information plus geotechnical borings
goal. Preventing flooding—by allowing time
and analysis to FEMA.
William E. Lukens for levee repairs—seems a better approach
Vice President than simply requiring that property owners
purchase insurance.
Some Congressmen agree. Proposed legislation FEMA Accreditation Decision

Thomas B. Rentschler
in both the House of Representatives and
Member Senate would suspend flood insurance rate Yes No
map updates in areas where levees are being
Board of Appraisers repaired. Another bill in the House would allow n Cities must enforce
David K. Galbreath, Jr. FEMA to temporarily extend the deadline for n No changes floodplain regulations
Realtor, Troy, OH reaccreditation if “a good faith effort to upgrade n Flood insurance required
Robert Harris a levee to the accredited level is being made.”
Appraiser, Dayton, OH
To contact us…
James E. Sherron
By phone: (937) 223-1271
Attorney, Middletown, OH
By fax: (937) 223-4730
By e-mail: bgibson@miamiconservancy.org
Internet: www.miamiconservancy.org

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