Since 1993, Boardman township has completed 18 storm water projects by securing more than $3 million in grant money.

But most of that was caused by storm water runoff.
For many residents, the culprit is something else.

"There's a lot of sanitary backup and sanitary flooding and that's a separate issue from storm water," says township administrator Jason Loree.

He says the township stumbled upon the issue during a major flash flood last August.

"You want your downspouts and sump pump disconnected from the sanitary system. You don't want your storm water going into your sanitary because that will overflow the sanitary system and cause a backup. That's the kind of flooding we see all too often in people's homes."

The bad news - the fix in this case falls on homeowners - many of whom didn't know that that's how the pumps were connected decades ago.
The good news - there's help to cover the cost.

"(the) Mahoning County Sanitary Engineer's office has a program up to $2,500 dollars or half of the installation or disconnection of your sanitary and storm lines in your home and the installation of a gate valve or in some cases a sump pump," Loree said.

But that's usually a $5,000 to $10,000 dollar job, and it's one flood victim Mike Sprague says is too much for many of his neighbors - even with the county's help.

"There's a lot of older people here who don't have deep pockets and it's going to be hard to afford it," Sprague said. "I can afford it I'm going to do it, I'm in the midst of working on my house right now but look around, a lot of people just can't afford it.

If you're interested in applying for that backflow control reimbursement, or for more information, contact the Mahoning County Sanitary Engineering Department at 793-5512.