Public meetings to be held for sanitary sewer projects

Citizens are invited to learn about two upcoming sanitary sewer projects in the Town Branch and West Hickman watersheds. Public meetings will be held on February 24 and February 29 to provide details about these projects, which are part of Lexington’s ongoing plan to improve our sanitary sewer system.

The first meeting will take place Wednesday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at the Carver School, 522 Patterson St., and will focus on UK Trunk A. This project involves constructing approximately 3,200 feet of sanitary sewer pipe and manholes in the Manchester St. area. UK A will run from Manchester St. and Town Branch Creek to just past Valley St., near High St. This project is expected to cost $4.3 million.

The second meeting will take place Monday, February 29 at 6 p.m. at Veterans Park Elementary School, 4351 Clearwater Way, and will focus on wastewater treatment plant improvements and a wet weather storage tank at the West Hickman Wastewater Treatment Plant, located near the Fayette-Jessamine county line.

The West Hickman Wet Weather Storage project includes replacement of the mechanical screening and grit removal processes, a new 70 million gallon per day pump station to lift the raw sewage into the treatment plant, improvements to the treatment plant non-potable water system, an 80 million gallon per day wet weather pump station and a 22 million gallon wet weather storage tank. Sanitary sewers can become overburdened during significant rains, and the storage tank will hold excess water until it can be released back into the sanitary sewer lines without risking overflows. This project is expected to cost $88 million.

These sanitary sewer projects are required under the Consent Decree, a legal agreement the city signed after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued Lexington for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Consent Decree requires Lexington to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. Overflows occur when the sanitary sewer line is blocked or when stormwater enters the sewer line and overloads the sanitary sewer system. Overflows in Lexington have caused millions of gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage to be discharged directly into Fayette County creeks.

Over the past four years, the city has made significant progress in improving the sanitary sewer system, including in the Town Branch and West Hickman watersheds. The Town Branch Wet Weather Storage Facility will be completed at the end of 2016, and there are numerous projects ongoing in the West Hickman watershed including in the Richmond Rd and Veterans Park areas.

Additionally, the city has undertaken a long-term program of inspecting, mapping and repairing existing sanitary sewer lines, stormwater lines and manhole access points to the system.

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