WKYT Investigates: Who regulates Kentucky's water towers?

PARIS, Ky. (WKYT) - "It was kind of like a tsunami type of wave of water when it came across. It just took everything in it's path," explained a witness to the water tank collapse in Shelby County last weekend.

Incidents of water towers falling led WKYT to investigate who regulates water tower inspections in the state?

"They recommend that you check your tanks every five years. If you don't do it, as far as I know, there's no penalty that they can enforce on you," said Paris Water Superintendent Kevin Crumb.

The state division of water has recommendations but no requirements. The state recommends that water towers be checked every five years. Some states, including Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Illinois and Wisconsin require tower inspections every five years. Texas requires an inspection every year.

"I think there should be some method to have folks be accountable for their structures like that," Crumb said. He said the state does do routine checks of the water system, which includes a water tower inspection. But he says there's no punishment if recommendations aren't followed through by the local municipalities.

"If you got property around it, houses and things, and its falling down. It would be a catastrophic, the kind of damage that would be done," Crumb said.

The Kentucky Division of Water said they don't have specific regulatory requirements for when tank inspections should occur and how they should occur. A spokesperson said they have options when they see situations with obvious problems. They can file a notice of violation to put the city or municipality on a path of correcting the situation.

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