Three area dams in need of rehabilitation


MIAMI VALLEY — The Miami Conservancy District built a world-class, integrated flood protection system in 1922 after the Great Flood of 1913 devastated the Miami Valley.

The system was almost 100 percent locally funded by residents, businesses, and local governments of the five protected counties: Miami, Montgomery, Warren, Butler, and Hamilton.

Now more than 100 years old, the system needs costly rehabilitation and reinvestment. Funds are needed from many sources. The Miami Conservancy District is asking for support of two funding requests that, if awarded, will increase investment in this critical infrastructure.

To provide a letter of support for these funding requests, please contact Chris Pfeifer at [email protected]

1 – State Capital Budget request to rehabilitate three dams

A request for $9.6 million has been made to the State Capital Budget Bill for funds to rehabilitate Englewood, Germantown, and Taylorsville Dams. The dams are carefully maintained and remain strong, but they are exposed to harsh conditions such as the freeze/thaw cycle, sunlight, high water impacts.

Their age along with increased rainfall is accelerating impacts and need for rehabilitation. Last year a large piece of the Germantown Dam wall fell into the river, leaving the upstream wall exposed to the elements. Other parts of the dams have been identified during inspections by the State of Ohio as needing addressed to avoid a potential failure.

2 – Federal Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) 2024 request for study

The Miami Conservancy District has requested the assistance of Congressman Turner and Senator Brown to seek an authorization in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2024. The WRDA authorization would allow the USACE to conduct a “General Investigation Study of the Recapitalization and Rehabilitation of the Great Miami River integrated flood protection system of the Miami Conservancy District, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.”

• This request could result in USACE assistance in the reinvestment of our 100-year-old flood protection system.

• It could lead to a beneficial partnership with USACE to secure federal funding to reinvest in the repair and recapitalization of the flood protection system.

Region protected for 7th time this year

The 6th and 7th times in 2024 that Miami Conservancy District dams, storage basins, levees, and other infrastructure safely stored dangerous floodwaters happened April 1-4 and April 11-15. These high water events mark more than 2,149 times one of Miami Conservancy District’s dams have stored floodwater since the system was completed in 1922.

Most recently, “peak water storage” was 16,495 acre-feet or about 5.4 billion gallons at four of the five Miami Conservancy District dams storing water that would otherwise pose a flood risk to cities along the Great Miami River. Peak water storage means the largest amount of water stored during a high water event.

This event ranks 126th of the largest Miami Conservancy District storage events. Englewood Dam was still storing water as of Monday, April 15.

All five dams were storing floodwaters on April 1-4 when peak storage was 28,040 acre-feet or about 9.1 billion gallons of water. This high water event ranks 74th largest storage event during the 111-year history of the Miami Conservancy District protecting riverfront communities from high water.

Some notable crest stages (the height of the water at the dam): Lockington Dam crested at 26.7 feet which ranks 24th out of the 433 storage events at that dam. Taylorsville Dam crested at 23.1 feet which ranks 24th out of the 207 storage events at that dam. Here are a few scenes from this event.

The Miami Conservancy District has seen an increase of 228 percent for water storage events over the last several decades. Put simply, the Miami Conservancy District’s dams and levees are holding back a lot more water. This increase, coupled with the age of the critical infrastructure, was a factor in the Conservancy Court’s approval of a new capital assessment in February.

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