Home » Louisville Water to spend $21M to inspect, repair and replace water mains

Louisville Water to spend $21M to inspect, repair and replace water mains

Will increase funding by $3 million in 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) — The Board of Water Works today approved a $3 million increase in money for infrastructure projects, which will allow Louisville Water to spend $21 million in 2016 to inspect, repair and replace water mains in its service area.

image001Louisville Water has nearly 4,200 miles of water main in its system, ranging in size from six-inches in diameter to 60-inches. The company’s goal is to continually reduce the number of annual water main breaks to around 635 breaks per year, which is considered best-in-class for a utility this size. Through October, Louisville Water has noted 543 water main breaks.

Louisville Water’s infrastructure dates back to 1860 and there is one section of the original pipe in place. The company began aggressively repairing and replacing smaller pipes in the 1990s and then as technology became available in 2010, an effort began to proactively inspect and repair the larger pipes, those bigger than 20-inches in diameter before the pipes fail.

In 2016, Louisville Water will spend $12.4 million on the smaller pipes in the system and $8.9 million on the large transmission mains. For the larger mains, engineers will use robotic technology that moves through a water main while it’s delivering water. The projects in 2016 are scattered throughout Louisville Water’s service area.

The 2016 budget also includes funding to complete projects to provide water to Hardin County. Louisville Water is schedule to begin supplying to Hardin County Water District No. 2 in the fall of 2016.

Louisville Water’s overall capital budget is $91.6 million dollars and the operating and maintenance (O&M) budget is $126.8 million. The O&M budget includes increases in utilities and chemicals and funding for technology and jobs in customer service. Louisville Water also expects a large increase in interest expense as the company borrows money in December for capital projects.

The budget includes a dividend to Louisville Water’s owner, Louisville Metro of $20.8 million dollars plus water for fire protection and Louisville Water crews maintaining nearly 24,000 public fire hydrants.

Louisville Water continues to see its revenue increase from top-line growth initiatives including operating water treatment facilities in Fort Knox and River Ridge in southern Indiana. There is also a steady increase in sales of water to other utilities in neighboring counties through regionalization efforts. Total revenue for 2016 is estimated at $180 million. The company anticipates saving $1.7 million in 2016 with One Water initiatives with Louisville MSD.

Louisville Water is projecting to sell 34.8 billion gallons of water in 2016, the same amount that is forecasted for 2015. Water rates continue to be some of the lowest in the region. In 2016, an average price for a family using 5,000 gallons of water a month will be $23.77. This represents a 20-cent increase for each week or 80-cents a month.

The Board of Water Works also announced that Spencer Bruce, Louisville Water’s chief engineer and vice president, will become the company’s interim president and CEO beginning January 1, 2016, replacing Jim Brammell who is retiring Jan. 1 after a 20-year-career with Louisville Water.

Bruce joined Louisville Water in 2006 and has held several positions in the company managing distribution operations, plant management and engineering. He was named to his current position in December, 2013. The Board plans a national search for a new president and will discuss the timeline at its December meeting.