Louisville Water Company will begin work to send its drinking water to Shelbyville
Louisville Water is ready to begin installing a large water main along Interstate 64 East that will deliver its drinking water to the city of Shelbyville. Last week, leaders with Louisville Water, Shelbyville Municipal Water & Sewer Commission (Shelbyville Water) and the City of Shelbyville broke ground on a long-awaited project. When completed in the spring of 2019, Louisville Water can supply up to seven million gallons of water daily to Shelbyville Water.
The groundbreaking represents a regional solution for delivering drinking water as this project will benefit the four water providers in Shelby County. Louisville Water will install approximately 10 miles of 24-inch diameter water main along Interstate 64 from the Jefferson/Shelby County line and connect with Shelbyville Water near Highway 55 in Shelby County. The work will begin close to where Louisville Water has tanks at the Shelby County line. The two utilities signed a partnership agreement in December 2015 and Louisville Water will fund the $16.2 million project through minimum water purchases from Shelbyville Water.
“This project is valuable to the Commission for two reasons,” said Tom Doyle, Shelbyville Water Manager. “First, no one knows when a disaster will strike and it is so reassuring to have a back-up source in Louisville Water to the Commission’s six-million-gallon-a-day plant and our water source, Guist Creek Lake. Secondly, this project along with the Commission’s Plant, can produce a drinking water supply to this county for many generations.”
Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty noted the opportunity for growth. “Our partnership with Louisville Water positions us well into the future for economic development,” said Hardesty. “We’ve relied on our current treatment plant for over 50 years. Now, we’re in a good place to plan for the next 50 years.”
Louisville Water already provides water to two other utilities in Shelby County, West Shelby Water District and North Shelby Water Company through purchase agreements. Over the past several years, Louisville Water has worked with these water providers along with Shelbyville Water and the U.S. 60 Water District on a solution that would give the county an additional water supply.
“Our partnerships in Shelby County date back over 30 years,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water. “This is an example of a regional water solution that takes advantage of our abundant source with the Ohio River. There have been countless hours of planning to get to this point. It’s a win for Shelby County and Louisville Water.”
Louisville Water’s Regional Footprint
Louisville Water’s regional footprint includes partnerships in Kentucky and southern Indiana. The company delivers an average of 120 million gallons of drinking water daily to nearly one million people in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties. Louisville Water also operates water treatment facilities at River Ridge Development Authority in southern Indiana and the Fort Knox military base. In the counties adjoining Jefferson, Louisville Water has contracts with smaller water utilities which purchase water from Louisville Water through a wholesale contract. The partnership with Shelbyville Water brings the total to eight water utilities with purchase contracts. The regionalization strategy helps communities find a back-up or additional supply of water and is a revenue source for Louisville Water. In 2016, revenue from wholesale water operations was $4.4 million and is projected at $4.7 million for 2017.
I-64 Water Main Project
Louisville Water will begin pipe installation in November with Smith Contractors, Inc. HDR Engineering provided the design. The pipeline to Shelbyville will begin near Louisville Water’s water tank at the Jefferson/Shelby County line. In addition to the water main installation, Louisville Water will also construct a pumping station to maintain good water pressure along the route. The work should be complete by April of 2019.