Article | December 6, 2005

The Invisible Sewage Plant

By Carl Dorsch, Vaughan Company


By Carl Dorsch

If you go looking for a particular sewage treatment plant in Cincinnati, Ohio, the first thing you'll notice might not notice it at all. In fact, when following perfectly clear directions to the facility, you might still drive right by it, dismissing it as just another office building. It doesn't register as a treatment plant.

And that was one of the goals for this state-of-the-art pilot project recently built in a western suburb of Cincinnati. Officially known as the Muddy Creek-Westbourne High Rate Treatment Facility, it was placed into operation in June of 2001 by the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD). An unmanned satellite plant, it's set-up to automatically handle high volume, wet weather sewage flow. Developed with the consulting firm of BBS Corporation of Columbus, Ohio, it was designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood.

"That was the intention," explained Don Cuthbert, Vice-President of BBS. "You don't see it, you don’t smell it, and it just sits there, quietly cleaning up the creek."

"In designing it, the main concerns were public health and water quality. But from a community perspective, I think they're more interested in aesthetics, odors, and overall appearance."

Happily, in this situation, both sets of objectives were apparently met.

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