Soccer field reopens after flooding

By: Regina Wright ~Campus News Editor~

After more than four inches of rain swamped the Norwood area and Xavier campus, the soccer field was flooded with contaminated water and closed.

Flash flooding hit the Cincinnati area in late August and was named “The Norwood Flood of 2016.” The storm was categorized by the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati as a 100-year storm because of the quantity of rainfall in such a short amount of time, approximately 4.4 inches.

After sewage drainage pipes overflowed and backed up onto the soccer field complex, the field was no longer safe for students and sports team to play on. Risk of exposure to unhealthy bacteria made the field unusable by health standards.

Replacement of the field cost about $415,000 and was covered by insurance. No further improvements were made to the soccer field or the storm and sewage drains.

“Below the storm water drain, about 20 feet down, is part of the Metropolitan Sewer District, a very large pipe, and it’s made to handle very large rains, just not that heavy,” Mark Hanlon, Associate Director of Physical Plant, said. “There was no changes made to the drainage systems, which is something the Metropolitan Sewer District would have to take care of.”

The turf of the soccer field underwent three weeks of construction and was completely replaced. During this time, the men’s and women’s soccer teams had been traveling to various high schools and other soccer complexes in order to play.

“I hope that doesn’t happen again, but we have a new field now, and it looks great,” Hanlon said. “The old one was only 4 years old, and they typically last about 10 years.”

The men’s and women’s soccer teams celebrated the opening of the new soccer field with pizza for the first 150 students to attend their games on Oct. 18 and Oct. 20.

“The soccer field is very important to the Xavier Community,” Senior Associate Director of Recreational Sports Leslie Dulle said. “It serves as our home venue for our Division 1 Varsity Soccer program. Many of our 26 Club Sports also utilize the field, as well as our Intramural program, student clubs and orgs, and external user groups such as camps, high schools, Soccer clubs, etc.”