Danville agrees to buy water from regional network

December 10, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will sign a preliminary agreement to buy 1 million gallons of water a day from a regional network.

The city would rather sell water, but officials agreed to sign the agreement so the city can continue negotiations with the network.

The Bluegrass Water Consortium, a group of water utilities, has changed its name to the Bluegrass Water Commission, which will be the body that actually builds and maintains the network of pipelines.

The city still faces a decision about whether to build another water treatment plant to comply with new federal water quality standards. If the plant is built, city commissioners would have to decide how big to build it.


Several options were discussed at a special meeting Tuesday:

* Remodel the existing plant.

* Remodel the existing plant, and buy water.

* Build a plant, and sell water.

BWC needed the "non-binding" agreement by Dec. 22, so it can make more accurate estimates about how much the water would cost.

City commissioners voted to sign the preliminary agreement to buy one million gallons a day for $400,000 to $500,000 a year.

"It's obvious that water is not going to get any cheaper than it is today, and it's obvious that it could be a big money maker for the city of Danville," Mayor John W.D. Bowling said.

The city will also tell the BWC that it is still interested in selling water to the networked cities.

Danville wants to sell water from Herrington Lake to the network, or to surrounding southern counties, such as Mercer, Lincoln and Casey.

However, the city has not discussed how much water it could draw from the lake with Kentucky Utilities, the electric company that controls the dam. A meeting between the city and KU is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Danville's consultants believe that after KU takes its water out of the lake for electricity generation, another 30 to 40 million gallons a day could be taken out with little effect on the lake. The city would, at most, treat 15 million gallons a day.

In the coming months, the city will decide whether to build another plant, and if it does, how large to build it. Danville's water demand has risen in the last decade from 3.5 million gallons a day to 4.5 MGD.

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