Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Sewer project begins

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

        GLENCOE — State representatives and local leaders attended the Monday groundbreaking for a long-awaited sewer system expected to improve health conditions and pump business into rural Northern Kentucky communities.

        The $6.1 million Gallatin, Carroll and Owen Regional Sewer System, a 20-mile line that will serve more than 400 residents, is scheduled to be completed by spring.

   • Will serve: More than 400 residents in Carroll, Glencoe, Sanders, Sparta and Worthville, plus the Kentucky Speedway.
    • Total projected cost: $6.1 million.
    • System will span: about 20 miles.
    • Completion: Spring.
    • Stations will pump: up to 500,000 gallons a day.
    • Estimated cost to residents: $30 a month.
        The city of Glencoe got the ball rolling when it applied to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet of Kentucky for its own package sewer system, according to Mark York, assistant to NREPC secretary James E. Bickford.

        A package sewer system includes a collection and distribution system, a treatment center and a treatment worker.

        Mr. Bickford first met with local leaders in 1998 to encourage a regional system because Sparta in Gallatin-Owen counties and Sanders in Carroll County were studying ways to eliminate sewage problems.

        Instead of separate facilities, a plan evolved for lines from four Kentucky cities connected to an already existing treatment plant in the city of Carrollton.

        The system is expected to carry waste through Gallatin, Carroll and Owen counties to Carrollton Utilities, a Carroll County treatment center.

        The project will eventually serve Carroll, Glencoe, Sanders, Sparta and Worthville, and the Kentucky Speedway.

        Many of the properties to be connected to the system are on individual septic tanks — straight pipes — a system in which waste from a house is moved through a pipe straight to a nearby creek.

        “Statewide we do have problems with human waste getting into creeks, rivers and streams,” Mr. York said.

        But most of the problems occuron an individual basis rather than a large-scale environmental one. In some areas, human waste will surface above ground level, especially in Glencoe, Sparta and Sanders, according to city Clerk Jayne Smith and Carroll County Judge-executive Gene McMurry.

        Mayor Michael Murphy said that 65 percent of Glencoe had visible problems with its septic tanks.

        “Basically, back yards would be saturated with sewage coming to the surface. It has the smell of sewer in the evenings, especially after it rains,” Mr. Murphy said. “Healthwise, it's going to be a great asset to those communities.”

        Funding for the state and federal project comes from a variety of sources, including a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a $1.49 million Community Development Block Grant from HUD and a $2.52 million Kentucky Infrastructure Authority loan.

        One of the largest benefits, according to NREPC's Mr. York, to the new system, will be its cost-effectiveness. The goal by planners is to keep the cost under $30 a month for residents who tap into the new sewage lines.

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