Project to replace nearly 20,000 feet of waterlines about to begin in Floyd County

Project to replace nearly 20,000 feet of waterlines begins in Floyd County
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has announced the start of a project to replace almost 20,000 feet of waterlines and $2.6 million in funding to improve water infrastructure in Floyd County.

The Floyd County Southern Water and Sewer District (SWSD) was awarded a $1.5 million grant in fiscal year 2019 from the Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program.

The Wayland to Lackey Water Line Replacement Project will replace almost 20,000 feet of existing waterlines with new PVC and iron lines from Lackey, along state Route 7, to the city of Wayland. Service lines and meters will also be replaced for approximately 100 customers.

“The main line was put in the mid-1970s. We have a lot of operational issues when we have flooding,” said Grondall Potter, the senior project manager with Utility Management Group who contracts with SWSD.

Potter says due to the placement of current lines, crews cannot access some water lines that are leaking. This project will allow them to move the lines away from the creek to provide more reliable water during disasters such as flooding.

“Just about any time we’ve had a flooding issue in the last three years, some sector has been affected,” Potter said. “It should help us insure water being as cheap as possible and as reliable as possible.”

This will enable a sustainable and reliable water source that encourages business retention, as well as new businesses to locate to the area. It also will let the district keep rates as low as possible due to fixing its water loss issue. With the completion of this project, SWSD will also be able to make an interconnect with Knott County Water and Sewer District to have another source of water in case of emergencies.

The project will officially start in 30 to 40 days.

As part of Gov. Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan Cleaner Water Program, Gov. Beshear presented a ceremonial check $1,909,717 for SWSD representing his approval of the funding. This money will finance a project to construct 19,000 feet of waterline to unserved areas, a new 200,000-gallon water storage tank and a booster pumping station.

As of now, there is a more than 3-mile stretch from KY-680 to Floyd Central High School without water lines.

“It will open up property for people to build new residences because we couldn’t provide water,” Potter said.

The project is expected to serve 10 unserved households. Gov. Beshear originally announced his approval of this funding in July, along with 29 other projects.

“We certainly appreciate the commitment from the Governor in helping us to upgrade our local infrastructure,” Floyd County Judge/Executive Robbie Williams said. “This is very important to Floyd County and Eastern Kentucky as a region in order to move our county forward.”

“This project will serve residents of Floyd County for years to come,” said Jeff Prater, chairman of SWSD. “This investment will help our people and our businesses by providing them with safe and reliable water.”

Gov. Beshear also announced the Appalachian Regional Commission approved $770,669 in funding for the city of Wheelwright to construct a 432,000 gallon-per-day water treatment plant. This project will replace the existing water treatment plant with a new and larger capacity plant. This will ensure reliable water service for 356 households and 15 businesses in Wheelwright.

“This new plant is going to really help our people and businesses,” Wheelwright Mayor Don Hall said. “Wheelwright will benefit from this project for years to come. Our thanks go out to everyone involved.”

The project will also support the Southeast Kentucky Correctional Center, providing the facility with reliable clean water. The correctional facility provides programming and education opportunities for inmates, a substance abuse program and vocational training programs.

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