Cincinnati Sewer System’s History Bubbles Up in New Exhibit

Written by Clarity Amrein, Community Content Coordinator, Downtown Main Library

This June, WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio will release a six-episode podcast series exploring the history and challenges of the Cincinnati sewer system. Beginning June 5, episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays. You can find each episode at

As a complement to the podcast, the Library’s Genealogy and Local History Department has created a digital exhibit detailing the long history of the Cincinnati sewer system. At, you can dive deeper (literally!) into Cincinnati’s sewer system history in the Library’s “Backed Up” digital exhibit.

WVXU "Backed Up" Podcast

Created by WVXU investigative reporters Becca Costello and Ella Rowen, the podcast demystifies one of the most complex systems of public infrastructure and tells the stories of the people suffering under its mismanagement. With this boots-on-the-ground approach to local government issues, listeners will flush out the mystery of plumbing in Cincinnati!

Learn more about WVXU's "Backed Up" podcast at

CHPL Complementary Digital Exhibit

Influenced by Cincinnati politics and ever-evolving social opinions, readers can dig into the history of a complicated sewer system constructed over two centuries. Created in collaboration with Cincinnati Sewer Historian Jack Rennekamp, the exhibit also features materials from the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) and never-before-seen photos from the Cincinnati Enquirer Photo Archive.

View the Library’s “Backed Up” digital exhibit at

See a New Side of Cincinnati History

Don’t miss the podcast release June 5 to uncover the stories of this often-overlooked aspect of Cincinnati's history and infrastructure! New episodes will be released every Wednesday through July 10, wherever you get podcasts.

Follow along with each episode of WVXU's "Backed Up" podcast through the Library’s digital exhibit starting June 5 on