KY Approves Emergency Modifications for Water Treatment Plants


Actions in response to lower lake levels

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 6, 2007) - The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) has approved water intake modification plans for the water treatment plants in Burnside, Jamestown and Albany. The modifications will enable the systems to continue drawing from Lake Cumberland if its water is further reduced.

Modifications were necessitated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision, announced in January, to lower Lake Cumberland by 43 feet to accommodate repairs to Wolf Creek Dam.

"I applaud the quick action by the Division of Water in reviewing and approving the plans submitted by these local water systems," Govern Ernie Fletcher said. "The expedited review will help ensure that the drinking water supply to residents in the area will not be disrupted by the Corps' repair project."

Governor Fletcher signed an executive order in April establishing a funding framework to address public safety and water supply concerns caused by the lower lake levels. Governor Fletcher has authorized up to $25 million in emergency funding for infrastructure projects.

Somerset Water Service plan modifications were approved in March. Monticello Water and Sewer Commission plans were also approved in March but are currently undergoing further revision. McCreary County Water District has not yet submitted its modification plan to the Division of Water. The plant serving Woodson Bend property owners does not require modification at the present time.

The seven water systems supply drinking water to 203,000 people in nine counties -- Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, Lincoln, McCreary, Monroe, Pulaski, Russell and Wayne.

The Burnside water treatment plant supplies water to about 2,438 people in Pulaski County. It plans to construct an alternate raw water intake using 500 feet of pipe and a floating intake with two water pumps. This alternate intake would be the only functional raw-water intake for Burnside if the lake is lowered further, which the Corps has advised is a possibility.

Jamestown Municipal Water Works provides water to approximately 24,800 people. In addition to serving 10,303 Jamestown residents, the plant sells water to Russell Springs and a portion of Adair County Water District. Russell Springs, in turn, sells water to portions of the East Casey County Water District and the Adair County Water District.

The Jamestown plant modifications include an 8,000-foot raw-water pipe extension to a floating intake situated in the lake pool and equipped with three pumps. The floating intake will carry flashing beacon lights to make it visible to boaters.

Albany Water Works provides drinking water to the Albany population of 16,545 and sells water to a portion of Cumberland County Water District, serving 4,950. The plant modification plans call for a 29,500-foot raw-water pipe extension to a floating intake situated in the lake pool and equipped with four pumps. Like Jamestown's platform, it also will be equipped with flashing beacon lights for visibility to boaters.

The Corps of Engineers anticipates the project to repair the leaking dam could take up to seven years. Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed his administration to do everything possible to help communities in the Lake Cumberland area with issues related to the drawdown. DOW continues to provide technical assistance to all the area municipal water systems.

-release from Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet