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Levee System


Aerial view of the local protection feature in Piqua, OH


Levees keep floodwaters out of the cities

Dams and storage basins work in conjunction with levees in the downstream cities. MCD's 55 miles of levee keep floodwaters within the river channel through the riverfront cities of Piqua, Troy, Tipp City, Huber Heights, Dayton, Moraine, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Franklin, Middletown and Hamilton.

Levees must be maintained to ensure their effectiveness. Maintenance includes:

  • Mowing grass to ensure proper turf cover.
  • Filling groundhog holes to eliminate seepage paths.
  • Controlling vegetation growth on and around the levees.
  • Repairing riverbank erosion.
  • Removing gravel deposits in the channels.
  • Operating more than 180 floodgates to keep the river from backing up into city streets.
  • Removing drift and debris. Drift and debris can inhibit turf growth, cause erosion and obstruct maintenance activities.

Conservatively, the levees reduce flood risk for a total of about $3.2 billion worth of land and buildings (not including personal property or infrastructure). Together, with the dams, the entire system reduces flood risk for about $5 billion worth of land and buildings.*

*These figures are based on 2010 Census. Many cities, in particular, Dayton, have experienced a construction boom (apartments, condominiums, and brownstones). Values for those developments are not included in these figures.