Danville bows out of water network

March 09, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will not join a regional drinking water network with which it had previously signed a non-binding commitment.

The city decided not to consider a continuation of its relationship with the group that plans to build a web of pipelines to connect Bluegrass cities, the Bluegrass Water Commission.

Commissioner Terry Crowley said he didn't believe that the group intends, or ever intended, to buy water from Danville. When commissioners signed the non-binding commitment they did so hoping to sell, not buy, water on the network.

Commissioner Chester Kavanaugh asked Crowley when he thought the city should stop considering joining the group.

"At the point we'd have to give them a dime, I'd shut the door," Crowley said.

The pipeline's organizers have said they plan to build a plant north of Frankfort that could treat 30 million gallons of water a day. They asked cities that surround Lexington to sign a commitment so they could get more accurate cost estimates for the cost of the plant and pipelines.


Lancaster has agreed to such a non-binding commitment. City leaders said they did so to provide insurance, in case the community's water supply was threatened or dried up.

Danville could back up its own treatment plant

Crowley said he believed that Danville could back up its own treatment plant without the commission.

Commissioner Jamey Gay said that the city's situation was different than most Bluegrass cities because it faces no shortages, pulling its water from Herrington Lake.

Commissioners approved a study about how much water it could pull from the lake without affecting Kentucky Utilities, the company that built the lake and uses it to generate electricity. The results are expected in April.

Danville will still have to make improvements to its water treatment plant. On Monday, commissioners approved $60,000 in engineering fees to improve its electrical system.

The plant has had three electrical fires over the past year, and its system is in need of $300,000 of improvements, according to city consultant Tetra Tech.

The city also faces more stringent federal drinking water standards. Already it has to add powdered carbon to decrease organic matter in the water.

Tetra Tech has said that to comply with federal law and keep up with demand the city will need to update its plant, build another larger plant or do both.

Gay said Monday that he wants the commissioners to concentrate on the issue in the coming months.

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