• Upper Muddy Creek Interceptor


    The Muddy Creek Interceptor is a large diameter sewer that helps convey wastewater from homes and businesses on Cincinnati's west side to MSD's Muddy Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sayler Park.

    Built in the 1920s and 1930s, the sewer is about 5.5 miles long and runs from Werk & Westbourne roads in Green Township to the Muddy Creek pump station in Sayler Park.

    Most of the sewer was replaced in the 1970s-1990s, with the exception of a ~2.5-mile section known as the Upper Muddy Creek Interceptor or UMCI.

    The UMCI is nearly 100 years old and is severely deteriorated. Sewage from the pipe leaks into the Muddy Creek during dry weather days, and significant overflows of sewage occur during rainstorms.

    Project Status

    On June 4, 2020, the Hamilton County Commissioners approved $9.9 million in construction funding for MSD’s long-delayed Upper Muddy Creek Interceptor (UMCI Replacement Phase B) project in Green Township.

    Here is the current status update:

    • MSD advertised for construction bids on July 29, 2020, with a bid opening on September 9, 2020.
    • MSD received 8 construction bids and is currently in the process of evaluating the bids.
    • MSD expects to award a construction contract in October.
    • Construction could begin this fall,, and the project could be substantially completed by May 2022.

    This schedule is subject to change and will be updated periodically.

    Photo of broken sewer

    Project Area

    The UMCI is the ~2.5-mile long upper section of the Muddy Creek Interceptor and is marked in blue on the map below. The UMCI is 90+ years old, constructed of vitrified clay, and is located in and along the Muddy Creek channel. The UMCI is currently in very poor condition with broken sections leaking sewage into Muddy Creek during dry weather days, creek water entering the pipe and taking up capacity, and significant volumes of sewage overflowing into the creek during rain events.

    The project area, bounded by the red box in the map below, is a ~1.5-mile section along Muddy Creek Drive from Devils Backbone Road to near Sidney Road.

    UMCI map

    Photos showing the current condition of the UMCI:

    Another photo of broken sewer Photo of broken sewer

    Solution and Benefits

    MSD's solution, known as UMCI Phase B, is to replace a 1.5-mile section of the pipe. This project is mandated by MSD’s federal Consent Decree to reduce sewer overflows and is being completed under the "Bridge Plan." As this is a partial solution, the remaining mile of interceptor pipe - upstream of the current project area - will need to be replaced in the future.

    Designed by a national engineering firm, the solution includes the following:

    • Replacing ~1.5 miles of the deteriorated sewer with a new, larger pipe (36 inches in diameter) made of HDPE plastic.
    • Moving the sewer out of the creek and putting it underneath Muddy Creek Road.
    • To eliminate new downstream overflows, MSD has already installed special controls (known as "dynamic underflow controls") at its wet weather facilities on Muddy Creek Road at Westbourne Drive and on Werk Road at Westbourne Drive.

    The benefits of the recommended solution include:

    • Reduces debris and odors along Muddy Creek and at the Sayler Park marina.
    • Reduces combined sewer overflows into Muddy Creek and the Ohio River by 83% (by about 200 million gallons per year).
    • Eliminates overflows of raw sewage from Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) 1061 into the Muddy Creek at no additional cost.
    • Avoids the need to construct a CSO storage tank estimated at $16 million.
    • Gets rid of a bottleneck in the pipe.
    • Makes the sewer easier to maintain by MSD crews.
    • Protects the creeks from sewage leaks.
    • Improves water quality and public health.

    History of the UMCI

    The UMCI has a long history.

    In 1963, the Hamilton County Sanitary Engineer recommended replacing a portion of the sewer. In 2008, MSD identified this sewer segment as an "extreme high risk" for failure. In 2009, UMCI replacement was put on the list of required projects for the second phase of MSD's wet weather plan, set to begin after 2018. In 2013, due to its deteriorating condition, MSD asked for design funding to replace the sewer. The Hamilton County Commissioners approved the funding, and the design was completed in 2015. MSD requested construction funding in subsequent years, but it was not approved. In 2018, the project was advanced as part of MSD's "Bridge Plan" per the Consent Decree, with a completion deadline of December 31, 2019.

    MSD requested construction funding in Novmeber 2018, but it was not approved due to concerns about new downstream overflows. Using a new model, MSD demonstrated no new overflows. The Commissioners approved construction funding on June 4, 2020.


    UMCI Timeline (click to enlarge): UMCI Timeline

    1935 Sewer Map (click to enlarge):

    Another photo of broken sewer

    Contact Us

    Report a Sewer Backup:
    (513) 352-4900 24/7 or online

    Customer Call Center:
    (513) 352-4900 24/7

    Project Customer Service:
    (513) 557-3594

    Development Services:
    (513) 244-1330

    Media Inquiries:
    (513) 557-7095


    MSD Mailing Address:
    1600 Gest St.
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45204

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