Kentucky PSC investigating water tank collapse in Waddy - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky PSC investigating water tank collapse in Waddy

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Officials are looking into whether the collapse of a water tower in Shelby County could have been prevented.

The 177,000-thousand gallon water tank collapsed on Aug. 9, 2014.

It led to flooding and damaged the nearby Waddy Baptist Church and several other buildings.

An investigation into the collapse has led to allegations that U-S 60 Water District failed to listen to warnings that the structure had corrosion problems.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is looking into whether the district violated regulations.

In an order issued Friday, the PSC opened a proceeding to determine whether U.S. 60 Water District violated three regulations -- two regarding inspection and maintenance of facilities and the third related to timely reporting of serious accidents.

In the order, the PSC noted that a 2011 inspection of the tank's interior, using a remotely controlled video camera detected “fairly aggressive” corrosion inside the structure. The inspection was performed by Liquid Engineering Corp., a contractor hired by U.S. 60 Water District.

According to a news release, the tank was a glass-lined cylinder known as a stand pipe. It was made of steel panels that were bolted together.

An analysis of the collapse found that the tank split along the bolted seams near its base. The top portion of the tank separated, falling off the base and away from the nearby buildings. The tank was full at the time of the collapse.

The PSC review also alleges that U.S. 60 Water District did not notify the commission as required. PSC staff learned of the collapse from news reports.

When U.S. 60 Water filed its written report on the collapse, the utility acknowledged the 2011 inspection, but said it “did not indicate any significant issues that indicated this type of problem.”

U.S. 60 Water District has 20 days in which to respond to the order.

A hearing in the case has been scheduled for June 30, 2015.

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