FOX 41 FOLLOWUP: Citizens group finds another Bardstown sewer leak
Bardstown city leaders believe they are making good progress toward fixing their outdated sewer system. But the state Division of Water is concerned about a lack of cooperation, as it tries to get an agreement in place to ensure the city stops polluting streams.
Bardstown has been under pressure for years to stop sewer overflows that regularly dump sewage into steams. But in August Fox 41's Dick Irby showed how a group of citizens has really put the problem in the spotlight.
On Sunday, Kevin Brumley, who documents Bardstown pollution, did it again. He followed his nose, tracked down, videotaped, and reported a Bardstown sewer leak. At the site he told Fox 41's Dick Irby, "There's a manhole cover about 30 feet behind us here, and it was coming out from the bottom of it."
To expose a problem he thinks the city has ignored for years, Brumley and a friend have been sending the video worldwide on YouTube as well as sending it to state and federal environmental protection agencies.
A new three-and-a-half million dollar sewer project is adding much larger pipes to fix the line which most frequently overflows and pollutes.
Public Works Director Larry Hamilton says the state should have Bardstown's response by now. But while the state wants its order signed and carried out, the city still wants to negotiate some issues, including the issue of paying a fine.
Hamilton says, "If this line is done in six months, we've already started, then what benefit does it do to collect a fine after we've already solved most or all of our problem?" State officials say a fine for past stream pollution is necessary to make sure cities understand their problems must be corrected.
Brumley says, "The old lines aren't going to go away on their own. Until they get them updated and fixed, they are going to have these kind of problems. But we're watching real close."
Hamilton denies Bardstown has dragged its feet in the past. He says it takes time to plan a new sewer line, buy right of way, and line up funding.
Hamilton says the city now has a plan to address all of its sewage pollution problems, and he's confident the state will be satisfied with its proposed response.