Murray’s Sewage Spending

One local city will have to shell out millions of dollars and increase customers’ sewage rates to update its wastewater plant.

Equipment at Murray’s Wastewater Plant is more than 30-years-old and needs to meet EPA standards.

The city plans to spend more than $50 million over the next four years to expand the current plant and add other equipment. This four-year expansion plan isn’t the only costly problem.

However, right now the City of Murray is focusing on a temporary fix that needs repairs before any sewage possibly backs up.

Chief Operator Gene Pierceall deals with sewage at Murray’s Wastewater Plant all the time.

“It’s pretty frustrating when the equipment breaks down and it’s hard to find parts or hard to get too,” Pierceall said

There should be three pumps bringing in sewage, but two of them are broken. Pierceall said one’s been out of service for several years.

To keep the plant open they had to rent a pump that pushes more than 5 million gallons of sewage water a day, which is costing the city more than $4,000 a month. Mayor Jack Rose said they’ve been renting the pump for about a month now.

“If we did not put the other pump in we would have a significant sewage problem all throughout Murray,” Mayor Rose said.

To get two working pumps back in it’ll cost about $250,000. The repairs are all temporary, but Mayor Rose said it needs to be done.

“There’s not a question about doing it. It’s got to be done and unless we want people’s sewage backing up throughout Murray and throughout our businesses. That would not work very well,” Rose said.

Rose said this whole section will be taken down once they finish expanding the plant and bring more than 30 year old equipment to EPA standards.

Rose said they were approved for a $46 million Kentucky Infrastructure Authority loan from the state to help pay for it. KIA is considering lending more because Rose recently found out it’ll actually cost more than $60 million for all the updates.

“The other way we are going to pay that obviously sewer rates on your utility bill will be going up some more,” Mayor Rose said.

Rose said their fixes we may not see, but definitely need to keep up with Murray’s growth.

Mayor Rose believes the two broken pipes are due to lack of maintenance. He hopes to have them fixed by the end of June to use this fiscal year’s budget to help cover costs.

Expansions on the plant should start sometime this summer and finish by 2019.

A breakdown of projected costs as of January 2015:

  • Old Bee Creek Interceptor $1,755,440
  • East Fork Clarks River Interceptor $3,312,800
  • East Fork Clarks River Pump Station Improvements and Force Main $2,954,800
  • Bee Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion $51,594,100
  • Total Cost: $59,617,140

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