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Downtown Columbus and surrounding neighborhoods such as Victorian and German Villages are served by combined sewers, which was the building practice when those areas were developed. In a combined system, stormwater and wastewater flow to a single pipe. The storm drains on the street that allow the water to flow in unfortunately also allow odor to emit. The odor is often more prevalent in hot, dry weather. An engineering study is underway to identify solutions such as bio-filters to reduce the odor. As redevelopment opportunities are presented, the sewers are often separated.
Read about a related project, OSIS - Downtown Area Odor Control Project or learn more about Understanding Our Sewer System.
Please call the Columbus Stormwater Hotline at 645-STREAM (7873) immediately and the Ohio EPA @ 1-800-282-9378.
Learn more about preventing water pollution, including many simple steps you can take at home to Keep It Clean.
This problem is typically due to a low area in the yard where the water collects and can't drain properly. Generally, it is the responsibility of the property owner to provide adequate grading to assure proper drainage away from the house and to direct stormwater runoff to the nearest storm sewer or drainage system.
Possible solutions to the problem include filling in the low area with soil, putting in a yard drain, or cutting a swale/ditch through the surrounding higher ground so the low area can drain out. In some cases, the property owners have blocked an existing drainage ditch with landscaping mounds, plantings, sheds or other structures.
In cases of significant yard flooding, the division will investigate and make a determination regarding possible solutions. Please notify Sewer Maintenance by calling 311 or 645-3111 and request a follow-up call. If the crew indicates they cannot do anything, you may wish to submit a Wet Basement & Neighborhood Flooding Questionnaire for future capital improvement project consideration.