Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry said Monday the city is off to a fast start in efforts to repair and improve sanitary and storm sewers in the city. Despite the effort, Newberry says there is still more work that needs to be done.
In 2006 the US Environmental Protection Agency sued Lexington for violating the clean water act. “We ignored sewer problems decades,” Newberry said. “Now, we are fixing or replacing aging, leaky and inadequate sewers that have been polluting our streams for years. Last year there were approximately $60 million in sanitary sewer projects underway. This year we will start another $19 million in sanitary projects.”
Department of Environmental Quality Commissioner Cheryl Taylor says it will take the next 11-13 years to complete all the improvements.
Some of the projects the city says are still in progress include:
· South Elkhorn Pump Station Improvements – This facility gathers and routes sanitary sewage from much of southern Fayette County and some from north Jessamine County to the West Hickman Treatment Plant. The facility had been the number one source of sewage overflows and the $4 million plant upgrade will nearly double the plant’s capacity.
South Elkhorn Force Main – This 36-inch pipe will help carry wastewater from the South Elkhorn Pump Station to the West Hickman Treatment Plant. This $11 million dollar project is underway and scheduled to be completed this year.
Town Branch Sewer Treatment Plant Upgrades – A new emergency generator has been installed as well as addition electrical power upgrades have been installed. New pumps are being installed which will improve the capacity of the plant, be more energy and cost efficient and may alleviate some odors from the plant. These improvements will cost in excess of $5 million dollars.
West Hickman Sewer Treatment Plant Upgrades – New pumps and additional equipment are being installed to improve the mechanical operation of the plant as well as its energy efficiency. The improvement at the West Hickman Plant will cost in excess of $5 million.
Bowman’s Mill Pump Station – This state-of-the-art facility will replace five smaller pump stations located in the eastern park of Fayette County. This $10 million dollar project will start soon and is estimated to be completed next year.