Whitesburg KY
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy

Leak costly to water district

Water supply costs for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District will be up by about $12,000 this month due to a leak in a two-inch pressure relief valve on Sandlick.

Water Manager Mark Lewis told the Water and Sewer District’s Board of Directors at its June meeting that the leak had been difficult to locate because it was discharging into a creek, but it has been found and the valve has been replaced. The extra cost to the district will not affect water bills for individual customers.

Lewis also told the board that accounts clerk Nick Hall is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine flood damage in Letcher County from recent heavy rains. The bad news, said Lewis, is that FEMA will not pay for the loss of treated water this year.

The district has completed the purchase of its new office and operations building, the old Standard Labs building at Mayking, and workers are beginning the process of adapting it for the district’s needs. Lewis said the contractor is replacing the outside metal on the building and the cost will be about $1,900. The district has enough money left after purchasing the site to cover costs.

Lewis also said the district has just over $19,000 left from a grant and will lose it soon if it is not spent. He suggested the district purchase a new vehicle for district use and the board agreed. Lewis said he will advertise for bids at state contract cost and once the bids come in, they will be presented to the board for a vote. Board Member Billy Stamper said that while he understands the spike in operating costs from the water leak, the board needs to keep a close eye on expenses.

Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering reported that he expected Phase II of the Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie, and Turkey Creek Water Project to be finalized no later than June 25.

Bowman said a final progress meeting was held on June 11 and Change Order Number 2 for a Mag Meter (an electromagnetic meter that creates a magnetic field in a water line in order to measure flow) was approved by Abandoned Mine Lands and has been processed. A final walk through will be scheduled and remaining invoices will be processed. Bowman also said that the district will hold a percentage of the final payment as a contingency to make sure the work and clean-up are satisfactory.

Plans and specifications for the Cumberland River Water Project are under review by AML, and Bell Engineering will install water pressure recorders at two of the connection points in Harlan County near the county line to determine if the necessary flow is available. It is also finalizing tank sites to feed Letcher County residents on Cumberland River.

AML officials have indicated that the Millstone area is eligible for funding and has requested a ranking and estimate of probable costs for remaining areas. Bell Engineering and the district are in the process of finalizing the list.

The district is also considering future supply options for the possibility to serve the unserved areas around the federal prison at Roxana. A potential site for the wastewater treatment plant is being inspected for suitability.

The Kentucky River Area Developing District, which is managing grants for the project, is working on a federal grant application.

Leave a Reply