New Plant FAQs
1. What is a Facilities Plan?
It is an engineering study to look at the best way to spend capital money for sewers in an area over the next 20 years. It is required to do one every five years, and Oldham County is overdue. There is an important reason for the requirement: things change a lot in five years. The previous Facilities Plan is outdated and parts of the Plan no longer apply.
2. Will this help the environment?
Yes. The focus of the Facilities Plan is to take the Orchard Grass, Willow Creek, and Ash Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plants offline. These three plants are over 30 years old and were designed for 20 years –with 30 year old discharge standards. Removing these plants from service will improve the treatment and reliability of sewer service in the area, and be good for the environment.
3. What options did you look at?
The two main options we looked at were upgrading the existing facilities, or regionalization through the combining of wastewater plants into as few plants as possible. Upgrading the facilities was quickly eliminated due to cost and the mandate to remove discharges from certain waterways. Once regionalization was chosen there were two more options – Allow MSD to take the flow, or building one or more new regional plants.
4. How is the chosen option determined?
A combination of the lowest cost (using present worth analysis) combined with environmental and community impacts. We are having this meeting to solicit feedback from the community.
5. What is Present Worth? Is present worth the price tag you have to pay for the project?
Present Worth is a number used for comparison of options. It is not a price tag, and it depends upon time periods and estimated interest rates. The capital costs are made to be on the high side, in order to be as conservative as possible.
6. Will this cause my sewer rates to go up?
This will cause sewer rates to go up the least. Doing nothing is not an option, and building a new regional wastewater plant will cause an increase in sewer rates.
7. I like my community and want to keep it rural. Will these plans cause development I don’t want? I want to develop my land but sewers aren’t available. Will this plan make sewers available?
The Oldham County Environmental Authority is neutral towards development. It is our role to serve the community however it develops. These plans are for environmental compliance of existing facilities, but the 20 year outlook requires us to build capacity based on projections obtained from Census and County information.
8. I am on a septic tank. Will this project make sewers available to me if I want them? Will this plan force me to go on sewers?
This capital program will not force anyone onto sewers at this time. Oldham County uses a sewer assessment process. Neighboring communities that have been forced onto sewers have been forced by the Health Department for health reasons. This project will make sewer assessments possible for areas that would want to be on sewer. Our sewer assessment process is published on our website, but to summarize: a public meeting is held suggesting sewers. If there is positive feedback, a cost per person to assess sewers is calculated and presented at a second public meeting. A vote is taken in the community and if the community wants sewers, it gets sewers. (With the cost of sewers, we have to assess areas: we can’t have some individuals on and some not on a street.)
9. What have you done to get input from local stakeholders & the community?
We held a public meeting regarding the Facilities Plan in August of 2012. Over the last two years we regularly met with officials at the Division of Water and Louisville MSD. We participated in a number of watershed studies in the community. We had the involvement of the Oldham County Fiscal Court, and other community stakeholders.
10. Who do I call if I have a question?
Call Kevin Gibson at 502-225-9477 or email us