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Introducing 'Backed Up,' a new podcast from WVXU

Nicole Chance
Nicole Chance Design

There's something wrong with the plumbing in Cincinnati. Sewage is bubbling up in our basements and pouring into our waterways. Climate change is making it worse, and the powers that be can't seem to agree on how to fix it.

Backed Up is a podcast that demystifies one of the most complex systems of public infrastructure — our sewers — and tells the stories of the people suffering under decades of mismanagement.

OK, I'm interested. Tell me more

Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the complex sewer crisis in Cincinnati. Hosts interview sewer experts and staff, politicians, residents with flooded basements, and activists who have dedicated their lives to the topic.

Backed Up Series Trailer
Backed Up is a podcast that demystifies one of the most complex systems of public infrastructure — our sewers.

Who are the hosts of 'Backed Up'?

Your hosts are Becca Costello, local government reporter for WVXU, and Ella Rowen, podcast coordinator for WVXU's parent, Cincinnati Public Radio.

What kind of time investment am I looking at?

The format of the show is narrative journalism. Backed Up consists of six episodes, each roughly 30 minutes long.

When do episodes drop?

Episodes will release weekly on Wednesdays beginning June 5. That's when you can find each episode at

Where Can I Subscribe?

You can find Backed Up on:

Using a platform not listed here? Let us know and we'll do our best to add it!

Anything else I should know?

There's a lot of sh*t talking — this is a podcast about sewers, after all. To that end, there is the occasional beeped-out curse word in an episode or two.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.
Starting with WVXU as a weekend host, Ella was promoted to the engineering department full-time within her first six months. Some of her previous audio pursuits included location recording for commercials, independent podcasting, voice work on national ad campaigns, sound design and music composition. Her passion for audio was catalyzed at the age of 8 while watching WKRP in Cincinnati. After spending her childhood recording imaginary programs with friends and family, working in public radio now fulfills her lifelong dream.