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Cincinnati’s “Smart Sewer” Reduces Overflows and Cuts Costs From $0.23/gallon to $0.01/gallon

$0.22 per gallon

Cut costs from $.023 to $0.01 per gallon


Avoided tens of millions of dollars in expenditures


Addressed federal Consent Decree



Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati





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Proficy Historian, Proficy HMI / SCADA

The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (known as MSD) protects public health and the environment through the safe and efficient collection and treatment of wastewater for 43 of the 49 political subdivisions in Hamilton County, Ohio, and small parts of Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties.


MSD's service area encompasses 290+ square miles and serves a population of more than 850,000. MSD maintains about 3,000 miles of sanitary and combined sewers and operates seven major wastewater treatment plants, more than 100 pump stations, two package treatment plants and several high-rate treatment facilities. About 160 million gallons of wastewater is treated daily.


Compliance with federal mandate


Increase existing sewer system efficiency to address Consent Decree (federal mandate) to keep raw sewage mixed with stormwater out of waterways when it rains.


A wet weather operational program for monitoring and control


Using iFIX HMI/SCADA and Historian from GE Digital in a Wet Weather Operational Optimization system, Greater Cincinnati MSD monitors flow levels and controlling gates and valves to direct flows, allowing the utility to store flows inside large interceptor sewers, storage tanks, and high-rate treatment facilities in different parts of the sewer system. The software also delivers the visibility for operators to make informed decisions and optimize the use of the interceptors, avoiding overflowing systems that are at capacity. 


“Smart Sewer” optimizes operations

  • Reduced costs to about $0.01/gallon of overflow volume, as compared to about $0.23/gallon for green stormwater controls and about $0.40/gallon for larger pipes and storage tanks


  • Reduced sewer overflows by more than 400 million gallons per year


  • Decreased new capital projects needed to reduce the overflows, such as larger sewers and storage tanks


  • Anticipated to save tens of millions of dollars in capital investments in projects to control sewer overflows


How Cincinnati Built the Smartest Sewer System in the World

How Cincinnati Built the Smartest Sewer System in the World | Webinar

On-demand webinar

Learn how Cincinnati’s award-winning smart sewer system serves a population of 850,000 and treats an estimated 160 million gallons of wastewater a day.

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