Breaking down upcoming sewer line repairs

The city provides an update about ongoing sewage repairs that aim to keep our waterways clean.

An intersection with cones going down the middle and detour signs, construction machinery, and piles of rocks.

The Greentree road closures are expected to be completed by the end of April. | Photo by Amy Wallot

If you’ve been in the Tates Creek Road area over the last few months, you may have noticed bypass pipes poking from the ground (and maybe whiffs of sewage).

The smell likely derives from, you guessed it, sanitary improvements. More specifically, the work that’s part of the ongoing Sanitary Sewers Remedial Measures Plan, the ~$600 million program that aims to improve our sewage system and avoid overflows.

One of the biggest projects part of the overall plan is currently taking place along Greentree Road and Gainesway Drive, which will be closed to through traffic during the repairs through April.

“Sanitary sewer overflows pollute our creeks and are a health hazard,” said Mayor Linda Gorton. “With the Greentree project, the city is replacing and upsizing our sanitary sewer lines.”

Mayor Gorton added that the plan will be moving into “high gear” in the coming weeks, with 52 out of the 80 projects completed.

According to Charles Martin, Division of Water Quality Director, the Greentree Road project will cost up to $8.1 million, including new pipelines in Veterans Park and Armstrong Mill Road, that will keep pipes from overflowing (especially during rainy periods) and lead them to the West Hickman Water Treatment Plant.

The why

The plan comes as a result of a 2006 lawsuit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the city that found it had violated the Clean Water Act due to overflowing sewer systems. A settlement came in the form of a consent decree, requiring Lexington to make improvements to stormwater + sewer systems.