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21012 Hilliard Boulevard
Rocky River, Ohio 44116

(440) 331-0600

Official website of the City of Rocky River, Ohio, providing community profile, information on local government, safety forces and education.

Rocky River Updates

Recent Storm Flooding

James Umerley

Recent storm flooding has caused damage throughout Northeast Ohio.  The City of Rocky River is investigating all reports of flooded basements to ensure there are no blockages or abnormal conditions in the City’s sewer system.  Additionally, we will assist homeowners in diagnosing any issues which may contribute to basement flooding.  Please contact the Service Division at 440-356-5630 to report flooding or request assistance.  Also, if you need to schedule a special refuse pickup for items damaged by flooding, contact the Service Division. 


Rainfall for Saturday, June 27th is predicted to be substantial throughout the day.  The City will be monitoring the storm and sanitary sewer operations to confirm the sewer systems are operating optimally. Sandbags have been deployed strategically on streets to slow the movement of storm water into the sewer system.  Restriction of this nature inside of the catch basins has been made throughout the City.  Therefore, if you see standing water in your street during a storm, be aware that the City is storing excess storm water in the street to avoid basement flooding if at all possible.  If those areas where water is stored in the street do not recede within the hour after the storm please call the Service Department at 440-356-5630 for personnel to attend to that catch basin.


Our sewer investigations, since the June 15th flooding, have determined that there were no blockages or obstructions that caused storm or sanitary sewer flooding in residential basements.  Concentrated storm cells released heavy rains on June 15th (.95 inches of rain between 7:05 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) and on June 23rd (1.67 inches of rain between 5:40 a.m. – 6:05 a.m.) which overwhelmed the sewer system in Rocky River and neighboring lake shore communities.  The City maintains the sanitary and storm sewer system on a regular basis by cleaning, jetting and making repairs where appropriate on a continual basis.  During the recent storm events, all sewer systems were running properly; however, they were overwhelmed by the quantity of storm water that occurred over short time periods.


Our regional Waste Water Treatment Plant has been functioning well despite these challenging weather conditions.  The Plant, on an average dry day, will process 15 million gallons of waste water.  The maximum capacity of the Plant is 125 million gallons for processing in a day.  During the June 15th rains the Plant processed 156 million gallons of waste water, with peak processing sustained over three hours.  From the June 23rd event, the Plant processed 158 million gallons of waste water.  The ground during these rain events was saturated and the pressure from the large quantities of rain falling in short bursts caused rain water to be pushed into the sanitary system.  These conditions cause both the storm and sanitary collection system to be quickly overwhelmed. 


To date, the amount of reported flooded basements received represents approximately .016% of the households in the City of Rocky River.  We realize that the actual number of flooded basement is higher as not every homeowner with storm flooding has called the City.  However, the low percentage of reported basement flooding confirms that our investments and maintenance of the sewer system has benefited our community.


The City of Rocky River has invested approximately $60 million into the sanitary and storm water collection system over the past eight years.  The City intends to continue this investment in the storm and sanitary collection system and innovative storm water projects and practices.  Grants and no-interest loans have been used to make sewer system improvements that were mandated by the US EPA.  While these projects met the Orders of the EPA they also offered our citizens an improved collection system that has benefited the entire community.  This year the City shall begin storm and sanitary sewer improvement projects that add over $6.5 million to our total investment.  Do not hesitate to contact the City with questions about current or planned sewer improvement projects at 440-331-0600.


As we continue to invest in the sewer collection system and the regional Waste Water Treatment Plant, these positive trends towards reducing flooding shall continue.   However, new sewers do not guarantee dry basements.  Homeowners’ play an important role in protecting property from these storm events.  Homes with clogged gutters or improper connections into the sanitary line can also be overwhelmed by these storms and cause flooded basements.  Please do not hesitate to contact the City about how to protect your basement from storm water flooding.  Click here for additional information about methods to further protect your basement from storms and flooded basements.