New sewage treatment facility in the pipelines for a growing local city

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Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Justin Jones

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. - After more than a few clogs in the pipelines, the plan for a local city to replace its old sewer treatment facility is now running smoothly. It's been held up for about eight years because of funding and environmental issues, but now the Mayor of Grand Rivers says they're just about clear for construction.

The current plant is operating at capacity frequently. On top of that, the mayor says they have to drain sewage directly into The Cumberland River whenever there's a storm surge. The plan calls for the new facility to go up about three quarters of a mile away from the old one. A local business owner gave the property to the city that desperately needs a new plant to make sure it remains a hot spot for tourists and businesses.

Grand Rivers Mayor Tom Moodie said, "It's just outlived its usefulness." The old sewer treatment facility has been at the job for 43 years," Moodie says it's time for it to retire. "You get to a point with an old plant where you can't add anymore businesses or residential customers because you're at your capacity," he said.

The city isn't to that point yet, but that doesn't mean they're in the clear. Moodie said, "We're at the top limit of our plant all the time, anyway, but when we have rain events, it surges over our permit limit." That's why there's a $7 million dollar plan in the pipeline to build a brand new plant on Luka Road.

Mayor Moodie said he's just one step away from making it final. "We haven't got an official yes its a done deal, but we know that's coming in shortly," he said. The new facility will be paid for by a grant, a loan, and rate increase on sewage bills. Moody said, in the long run, it'll be worth it. "We've got to plan for the future and make sure we build something big enough to last us another 45 to 50 years... something we can add to," he said.

The new plant will be about three times the size of the old one. Moodie said it will have the capacity to treat 500,000 gallons of sewage and expand to 1.5 million if there's a storm surge. 

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