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New Basin to Help Reduce Erosion and Flooding on Clough Creek

Given the increasing frequency of heavy rainstorms in recent years, it is not uncommon for Clough Pike drivers to observe the raging waters of Clough Creek. This has raised some concerns in Anderson Township.

However, a new regional floodwater diversion project on Clough Creek is projected to help some of these problems. Steve Sievers, assistant administrator for operations in Anderson Township, said as private developer Harmony Senior Living begins construction on their new senior housing facility on Clough Pike (west of Newtown Road), they have agreed to fund and build a bypass channel. The channel is located on an adjacent, downstream,10-acre township-owned site.

The water diversion system will address pre-existing conditions on Clough Creek, Sievers said. It is not replacing the on-site stormwater controls that will be required and constructed on the Harmony site. Clough Creek, the “funnel” of the Clough watershed, is tightly constrained in many areas, which exacerbates this situation, Sievers noted.  “The Clough watershed is one of 10 in our community. More than 90 percent of the land draining into Clough Creek is developed, which results in added pressure on the stream. The vast majority of development occurred prior to the implementation of storm water controls in Hamilton County in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” Sievers noted.

As Clough Creek rises, the new basin is designed to absorb some of the flow of the creek, where it will pass through a series of mini-basins, separated by weirs. Water will then be held in the bypass basin until the creek waters drop and will then be released slowly back into the stream channel.

Sievers noted that nearly 20 acres will be impacted by construction in this area. A little less than half will be related to developing the regional stormwater basin. Once the project is completed, plans call for reestablishment of the acreage with native species, with a “green infrastructure” project that will greatly benefitthe long-term health and stability of Clough Creek, Sievers said. “What residents will see in the coming months is not all related to the Harmony development, but instead represents a sizable off-site improvement by Harmony to address a pre-existing situation,” he said.

“This project will go a long way to keeping this area green for future generations,” noted Trustee Chair Josh Gerth. The township has agreed that this parcel, which is not Greenspace, will be maintained by the township as open space moving forward, he added. "We appreciate the developer working with the township to address these concerns, above and beyond what they are required to do," he said.

The work also sets the stage for a future sidewalk connection between the Clough Business District and Turpin Hills. Gerth noted. “By helping to reduce downstream erosion, we will hopefully reduce the amount of land being consumed into the creek moving forward,” Sievers noted.