AWWA Ohio Section

Little Community – BIG Problem

Grover Hill is a little community in northwest Ohio that has a big wastewater problem. The town’s collection system is rundown and overflows during storms, resulting in sewer backups.

Homes in Grover Hill all have their own septic tanks, which are badly corroded, and the town’s wastewater treatment plant has experienced multiple equipment failures. Grover Hill’s financial situation is dire but the town has been reluctant to raise sewer rates since so many residents are already unable to pay.

CECorps Gets Involved

Through CECorps, AWWA’s Ohio Section dispatched a team of volunteers to Grover Hill, where most of the 400 residents are elderly and low income and unable to pay for engineering services. After conducting extensive fieldwork and research, the team produced a 348-page report that outlines the technical issues and recommends corrective actions.

“If we hadn’t been able to get the help from CECorps, the town wouldn’t have taken this step forward to see a doable solution,” said Roberta Streiffert, rural development specialist for the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a non-profit network that advocates for very small communities. Streiffert said CECorps engineers donated hundreds of hours to Grover Hills’ wastewater dilemma. Their services pave the way to a recent grant award of $1M to begin implementation of recommended solutions.