Louisville Consent Decree 2009: Pulling it All Together

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Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) currently serves a population of approximately 700,000 residents through 225,000 customer accounts and anoverall service area of nearly 386 square miles. The primary services delivered by MSD include:

Collection, conveyance, and treatment of wastewater,

Drainage and stormwater services, and

Flood protection.

On August 12, 2005, MSD entered into a Consent Decree in Federal Court with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (KDEP), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The purpose of the Consent Decree is to further the objectives of the Clean Water Act to eliminate unauthorized discharges from the sanitary sewer system, combined sewer system and wastewater treatment plants and address discharges from combined sewer overflow locations identified in the Morris Forman Wastewater Treatment Plant Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The program to implement this Consent Decree was named Project Waterways Improvements Now (Project WIN). Project WIN is an umbrella program that manages both the operating programs and the overflow abatement capital programs required for Consent Decree compliance. MSD's Consent Decree includes an aggressive schedule to eliminate unauthorized discharges and control CSOs, but is not prescriptive in the methods used to achieve the required outcomes. The flexibility in approach allowed MSD to consider both structural and non-structural systems of overflow abatement. The approach adopted by Project WIN to address the Consent Decree requirements encompasses these elements:

Capitalize on the interconnectivity of the sanitary conveyance system by using technologies such as SCADA, telemetry and Real Time Control;

Solicit and incorporate guidance from the local stakeholders on community values to underpin the analysis and selection of alternatives for the overflow abatement plan; and

Incorporate a component of personal accountability and responsibility following the current “green movement” sweeping through the nation's communities.
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