Our Region’s Water: Protecting. Preserving. Promoting.

The Miami Conservancy District protects communities in Southwest Ohio from flooding, preserves the quality and quantity of water, and promotes the enjoyment of our waterways.

The Miami Conservancy District’s Annual Report to the Miami Valley

“We’re working to determine how many miles of levee will need improvements,” says Janet Bly, MCD general manager. “The analysis is under way in Butler, Warren, and Miami counties but hasn’t yet begun in Montgomery County. Since the foundations all have similar geology, it’s likely there could be problem areas in each county.” Unfortunately, if a levee section doesn’t meet every single requirement, FEMA will deaccredit that levee section. This means cities will have to enforce floodplain regulations regarding development, and many homeowners will be required to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to virtually everyone but currently is optional. (More information on flood insurance) “It’s important to note that if a levee section is deaccredited, that doesn’t mean the levee will fail,” Bly says. “The probability of a storm large enough to put this kind of pressure on the levees remains small, and the risk of piping is even smaller. Plus, there are flood-fighting steps that can be taken to further reduce the risk of levee failure. And remember, these levees have withstood every storm since 1922.” The process More than 18 miles of levee have been evaluated in Butler and Warren counties, and another 7.5 miles of levee in Miami County are under review. FEMA provides only a two-year window to complete the extensive review and submit the report including detailed data, drawings and analyses for each levee section.
Underseepage story continued on page 8.

Potential underseepage at levees
Miami Conservancy District levees have withstood every storm event since their construction nearly 90 years ago. But an extensive engineering analysis has revealed a potential vulnerability with the foundation of the levees. MCD is doing the engineering analysis to comply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) effort to update flood insurance rate maps nationwide. For levees to be shown on the new maps as offering protection, the levees must protect to the 100-year flood (a storm event that has a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year).

Expensive fix

Workers drill deep into the levee to retrieve soil samples for analysis.

“There are eight different requirements that each levee section must pass, “says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer. “After extensive studies in Butler and Warren counties where FEMA began the process locally, MCD levees have exceeded most of the standards. One area of concern is foundation stability or underseepage.” Underseepage is water that seeps through a dam or levee foundation. Water flowing under pressure through the foundation soils can cause soil particles to move, creating voids in the foundation which in turn allow more water to flow. This situation is called piping because the flow creates a “pipe” in the foundation and can lead to instability and potential levee failure. Science was not advanced enough to know about the effects of underseepage when the MCD dams and levees were built. MCD has addressed underseepage at three of its five dams and expects to finish capital improvements at Englewood and Lockington dams by next year.


“The concrete below the waterline is in excellent shape,” says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer, “but there are problems above the waterline—a result of freezing and thawing over the years.”

Dam Safety Initiative
In 1999, MCD began a multi-year Dam Safety Initiative (DSI) capital improvement plan to ensure the integrity of the dams for future generations. The schedule was aggressive and the costs were conservative. The plans called for addressing underseepage— water that seeps through a dam’s foundation and can lead to dam failure—at all five dams by constructing projects along the downstream toes of the dams. The plans also included modifying the crest at three dams by constructing impermeable cut-off walls to prevent stored flood waters from seeping through the embankments. In addition, major repairs would be made to concrete at the dams. Concrete floodwalls and revetment would be replaced at several locations. By the end of 2009, MCD had: n Addressed underseepage at three of the five dams (Germantown, Taylorsville and Huffman) using combinations of relief wells, weighted toe berms and toe drains. n Completed relief well projects at the other two dams (Englewood and Lockington) along with a weighted toe berm and toe drain project at Lockington Dam. n Completed crest walls at Huffman, Taylorsville and Englewood dams. MCD completed crest remediation projects at Germantown and Lockington dams before the DSI in 1970 and 1993, respectively. n Repaired concrete revetment and floodwalls in Troy, Dayton, and Hamilton. n Completed concrete inspection at Lockington Dam. At Englewood Dam, MCD installed additional relief wells in 2009. A weighted toe berm and toe drains will complete the underseepage control.

Concrete repairs needed at the dams
As part of the DSI, MCD completed a thorough inspection of the concrete at Lockington Dam. In 2009, MCD hired a contractor to dewater the dam’s east conduit to inspect the concrete. The dam’s concrete was visually inspected for cracking and spalling (surface pieces falling off), and the entire surface was mapped. In addition, workers drilled into the concrete, taking samples to be analyzed at a lab. MCD last inspected the concrete in the 1970s and subsequently performed repairs to the concrete. The 2009 inspection showed a good news/bad news scenario. “The concrete below the waterline is in excellent shape,” says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer, “but there are problems above the waterline—a result of freezing and thawing over the years.” Despite needing repair, there is no immediate threat to the dam. The deterioration, however, will continue if not repaired. Repairs to Lockington Dam concrete will be more extensive than in the past, with some repair work as deep as 2 feet into the spillway walls. The total estimated cost for repairs to Lockington Dam concrete is about $10 million. “Given that the concrete at the dams is about 90 years old, it has held up very well,” Rinehart says, “but like bridges and roads and other concrete structures, repairs are necessary and can be expensive.” Although MCD hasn’t inspected the concrete at the other four dams, it anticipates similar findings at each. MCD will add the concrete repair projects at the dams to its list of capital improvement projects that will be needed in the coming years.

Workers inspect concrete in the dewatered stilling basin at Lockington Dam.

Final underseepage projects
The geology at Lockington Dam is more complex than at the other four dams. The dam’s foundation sits on fractured limestone bedrock. The unique 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.


2009 high water events
When it comes to high-water events, 2009 was significant not because of the size of the events but for the lack of it. Consider this:
n For the first time in 16 years, there were no high

Flood Protection Like virtually every community and organization in the watershed, MCD has been looking carefully at its budget and tightening its belt. Some of the actions we have taken include:
n Freezing wages for 2010 n Reducing health insurance

water events big enough to cause all five dams to store water simultaneously, according to MCD records.
n In all, there were 13 storage events—when the

n Restricting travel n Obtaining grants from state/

pool elevation exceeds the top of the dam outlet conduits—about a third less than the 19 events we average each year.
n None of the 13 storage events had more than

two dams storing floodwaters at any one time.
n Huffman Dam did not have any storage events

Floodwall exercise
Practice makes perfect
It would take a massive storm—even larger than the 1913 flood—for the river in downtown Dayton to rise high enough to flow through the open levee at RiverScape. Still, MCD prepares for all possibilities. That’s why staff members from MCD, the City of Dayton and Five Rivers MetroParks installed a floodwall at the RiverScape plaza last fall as part of a flood protection exercise. “When RiverScape was developed, a portion of the levee was removed,” says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer. “The floodwall provides protection for that section of the levee should the water ever get that high. Every few years, we work with the City 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.

federal sources
n Revising equipment

replacement schedules to delay equipment purchases
n Using seasonal staff in place

in 2009—the first time that’s happened in 19 years. The largest event of 2009 took place February 812, resulting in total peak storage of 10,955 acrefeet (3.6 billion gallons). The high water event was triggered by melting snow on February 8 and 9, followed by 0.7 to 1.2 inches of rain falling within the Great Miami River Watershed on February 10, 11, and 12. The heaviest rainfall occurred north of Dayton in Darke, Miami, Logan, and Shelby counties. “From a financial standpoint the lack of highwater events was beneficial in that we didn’t have a lot of costs in overtime,” says Janet Bly, MCD general manager. “In this economy, every little bit of savings helps.”

of full-time staff when possible

Flood Protection Revenues (2009 Actual)
n Assessments ($4,422,356) n Intergovernmental ($135,202) n Other ($120,348) n Fees & Charges ($107,276) n Interest ($38,348)

For the first time in 19 years, Huffman Dam had no storage events.


Take-back program keeps drugs out of water supply

DUMP unused medications
One in 10 high school seniors admits to abusing prescription painkillers, often found in parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. Properly disposing of unwanted medications can be tricky. They shouldn’t be flushed because trace amounts are being found in our rivers and streams. Throwing them in the trash isn’t a good option either. But there is another way. Residents can take advantage of the Dispose of Unwanted Medications Properly (DUMP) events.

The Miami Conservancy District worked with DUMP campaign organizers to promote six DUMP events in the last half of 2009. Together, the events collected nearly 120,400 pills, more than 7,850 inhalers and other materials. MCD also worked with the City of Miamisburg on a prescription takeback program that collected more than 22,600 pills. The events were part of an overall effort by MCD to 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 for 2008. The report focuses on the buried valley aquifer and water quality and quantity. The report is available on the MCD web site.

H2Open for Business

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


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

Aquifer Preservation Revenues (2009 Actual)
n Assessments ($912,370) n Grants ($42,685) n Interest ($8,703)

MCD by the numbers
Sometimes the goal of cleaning up our waterways can seem overwhelming. How can one person, one event, one program really make a difference? You might be surprised. MCD successes by the numbers in 2009

120,000 — The number of pounds of nitrogen/
phosphorus that will be removed over 15 years from our waterways through 45 new Water Quality Credit Trading projects funded in 2009.

During a training event on preventing pollution at municipal facilities, stormwater managers study a site to determine what practical changes could reduce runoff and potential spills.

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 protect the region’s drinking water. The projects include innovative practices that prevent runoff by allowing precipitation to infiltrate, easing 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.

288 and 945 — The number of private-well
owners who took advantage of free nitrate testing in the Test Your Well program in 2009, and the total participants since Test Your Well began in 2007.

$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 test water quality in local rivers and streams.

640, 680 and 2,140 — The number of
pounds of trash, recyclables and tires collected by MCD employees during the July 17 Great Miami River cleanup.



Great Miami River Recreation Trail
Trail counters

You’re being watched – well at least counted
If you ride the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, you know—by seeing all the people you pass—that the trails are popular. But have you ever wondered just how much use they really get? We have. There can be a lot at stake with accurate trail counts. That’s why MCD invested in three trail counters in 2009 and will be adding two more in 2010. Trail counts:

“MCD recently provided trail count data to the City of Dayton to strengthen its Bike Friendly Community Application to the League of American Bicyclists,” says Hans Landefeld, Recreation Trail Manager. MCD installed three counters in May 2009—two in Montgomery County in Dayton and West Carrollton and one in Warren County in Franklin. From June through November 2009, more than 25,000 people were counted at the three locations. The two remaining counters will be placed in Moraine to provide additional data on trail usage.
Great Miami River Recreation Trail construction

Help identify the months and days of the week when trail use is highest, allowing MCD to increase trail maintenance during high-use times and reduce maintenance during lower-use periods.

MCD supports the efforts of communities and park districts to construct and maintain recreation trails on MCD property. MCD reviews the plans for each project to ensure it doesn’t affect the operation or maintenance of the flood protection system. “Major gaps are closing rapidly, especially in the north, on this 90-mile trail,” Landefeld says.

Play It Safe! You wouldn’t ride your bike without a helmet. You wouldn’t run through an intersection without looking both ways first. So why would you ever consider kayaking on a river without a life vest or a safety map? We hope you wouldn’t. That’s why for the past several years MCD has sponsored the Play It Safe! campaign and free river safety maps. The maps are available for the Great Miami, Mad and Stillwater rivers. Each map features information about river hazards, how to stay safe on the river, and access points to the river. Order your free maps.

Provide statistics to ODOT to justify detours around state construction projects rather than just closing the trails for the duration of a project.

Identify where the highest and lowest use is, helping to determine if additional or improved access is needed.

Allow MCD to provide firm numbers about trail use to city councils and administrators, helping them understand the impact trails have in their community.

The City of Piqua partnered with the Miami County Park District to complete a 2.75-mile trail extension. The new trail section travels south from Lock Nine Park. About 25 percent of the new trail section is on land owned by MCD.
Concord Township (Miami County)

Help identify hour-of-day use trends (commuter versus recreational use).

The Miami County Park District completed a 1.8mile trail extension north from Eldean Road. About 1 mile of this extension is on land owned by MCD.

Help bolster grant applications when asking for funds to expand a trail.

The City of Middletown completed a new 1.9-mile addition to the trail. Middletown has obtained a $490,600 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant from the Department of Energy to build an additional 1.8 miles of trail.


Riders explore cities in River Rides
When people think of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, they often associate it with fitness and transportation. But as 160 participants in the summer River Rides learned, the ride is only half the fun—exploring the charming cities along the trail can be even better. “Our experience in Troy was eye opening,” said Jim Elking. “The downtown area is very interesting, architecturally and (has a) variety of businesses. The materials we were given made us aware of so many things in Troy that we did not know existed.” MCD sponsored the two River Rides—a south ride featuring the cities of Miamisburg and Franklin and a north ride in Troy. The rides were part of the Drive Less, Live More campaign which encourages drivers to take the bus, bike, walk or carpool whenever possible. Each ride was about 14 miles long. Besides exploring the recreation trail, riders visited historical landmarks and businesses in the cities. “Two of my friends joined me for this wet and gloomy ride,” said Andi Miner of the Troy ride which featured a few summer downpours. “We had never ridden this path before and enjoyed it so much we returned several times over the summer.” MCD—along with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Greater Dayton RTA and Five Rivers MetroParks—sponsored the third annual Drive Less, Live More campaign in 2009. Go to drivelesslivemore.org for more information on the River Ride and 2010 campaign.

Handrail accents river flow
A great place to take a stroll in downtown Dayton is the Dayton RiverWalk—a shaded gravel walkway looking over the river from the Main Street Bridge to the Dayton View Bridge. It sits atop the floodwall behind the Wine Gallery, First Baptist Church, the Landing, YMCA and Code Credit Union. A new handrail along the Dayton RiverWalk has improved safety after a badly deteriorated railing was replaced. A wave design in the railing is intended to mimic the flow of the river. Besides the RiverWalk, MCD replaced handrailing at four other locations – Helena Street at Riverside Drive, Robert Boulevard at Third Street, Edwin Moses Boulevard just downstream of US 35 and at the Tait Station Low Dam parking lot. In all, about 2,850 feet of railing was replaced.

River Corridor Improvement Revenues (2009 Actual)
n Assessments ($249,223) n Intergovernmental ($214,000) n Grants ($101,508) n Interest ($13,124)


Boat ramp improves access to Great Miami River
Recreation and paddlesports are among the most popular and fastest growing of all outdoor activities. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio saw a 43-percent increase in canoe and kayak registration from 2003 to 2009. About 86,000 kayaks and canoes are now registered in Ohio. And MCD’s latest hand-carried-boat ramp may help 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 handcarried-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


Conservancy Court
MCD is governed by a Conservancy Court comprised of one common pleas court judge from each of the counties within the Conservancy District boundaries. The Conservancy Court appoints MCD’s Board of Directors and Board of Appraisers, and approves their plans.

A message from the general manager
Levee accreditation process creates challenges
The Miami Conservancy District (MCD) has been a long–time advocate of robust flood protection infrastructure to ensure public safety and economic prosperity. MCD supports the FEMA Map Modernization program to update flood maps and accurately identify flooding risks across the country. However, MCD—like many communities nationwide—faces challenges in dealing with the levee accreditation process of Map Modernization. The process requires that levees meet rigorous compliance standards to be accredited by FEMA. New FEMA maps will show accredited levees as providing protection. If levees are not accredited the maps will be published as though the levees did not exist. Some of the challenges include: Tight deadlines and unexpected costs to evaluate the levees and certify that compliance standards are met. n Inadequate time and funds to complete repairs to levees before the flood insurance maps are finalized. n Potential economic impacts new flood maps could have on the communities MCD protects.

Underseepage story continued from page 1

Levee accreditation does not guarantee the levee or its performance, it simply is an indicator of compliance with certain FEMA requirements. Addressing underseepage to meet FEMA standards could require millions – or tens of millions – of dollars in capital improvements. Even more extensive improvements could be necessary to meet MCD’s Official Plan Flood standards, which are higher than a 100-year flood. MCD will calculate the cost of improving levees once all of the levee systems have been through the levee accreditation process. These costs would be added to MCD’s capital improvement needs.
Levee Accreditation Process

Butler County Honorable Keith M. Spaeth Clark County Honorable Richard J. O’Neill Greene County Honorable J. Timothy Campbell Hamilton County Honorable Robert P. Ruehlman Miami County Honorable Jeffrey M. Welbaum Montgomery County Honorable Barbara P. Gorman Preble County Honorable David N. Abruzzo Shelby County Honorable James F. Stevenson Warren County Honorable Neal Bronson Board of Directors

Gayle B. Price, Jr. President

Levee owners have been given only a two-year window to complete the extensive evaluation of their levees. Miami Conservancy District staff is working hard to assure we meet the two-year deadline for levee evaluation submittals. FEMA has not allowed any time for levee repair. Reducing the risk of flooding is our primary goal. Preventing flooding—by allowing time for levee repairs—seems a better approach than simply requiring that property owners purchase insurance. Some Congressmen agree. Proposed legislation in both the House of Representatives and Senate would suspend flood insurance rate map updates in areas where levees are being repaired. Another bill in the House would allow FEMA to temporarily extend the deadline for reaccreditation if “a good faith effort to upgrade a levee to the accredited level is being made.”

To even begin the Levee Accreditation process, levee owners must provide FEMA information (including a Maintenance, Operations and Inspection manual; maintenance records; and levee height estimates) that would lead FEMA officials to expect the levee can be accredited. Below is a brief diagram of the process and potential outcomes. Provisionally Accredited Levee (PAL)

2 years to submit more in-depth information plus geotechnical borings and analysis to FEMA.

William E. Lukens Vice President

FEMA Accreditation Decision Yes
n n

Thomas B. Rentschler Member

No Cities must enforce floodplain regulations n Flood insurance required

Board of Appraisers David K. Galbreath, Jr. Realtor, Troy, OH Robert Harris Appraiser, Dayton, OH James E. Sherron Attorney, Middletown, OH

No changes

To contact us… By phone: (937) 223-1271 By fax: (937) 223-4730 By e-mail: bgibson@miamiconservancy.org Internet: www.miamiconservancy.org


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