February 17 Harrods Creek emergency repair update

February 17, 2020

Prospect sewer line repair update:

Work on repairs to sewer lines below Harrods Creek is on hold until water levels in the creek recede. Repair sites on both sides of U.S. 42 are flooded. On the Ken Carla side, construction of a protective metal box that will make it possible for workers to safely make the repairs 35 feet underground was completed before the flood.

Soil excavation and bracing of the box is projected to resume February 21 while crews clean up from the flood. Work to connect the recently installed new force main to the undamaged portion of the original force main on both the Ken Carla and the Woodlands sides of the stream will also resume. Once these connections are complete, the new force main will go into service, and the temporary pump station on the Woodlands property will go out of service.

Earlier this month, “flushable” wipes and rags clogged up the temporary pump on the Woodlands site. That required the purchase of parts to repair that pump along with a new “quieter” pump and use of noisy pumps until the new pump arrived. A crew member is onsite to watch water levels in the wet well and only turn the pump on when necessary in the overnight hours.

Updates are available on our website at LouisvilleMSD.org and on our Twitter page @LouisvilleMSD.

You may reach MSD Customer Relations at 502.540.6000.

“Flushable” wipes are not flushable

MSD, along with sewer agencies across the nation, spend time and money removing flushable wipes from our systems daily. Our “Bowl Patrol” campaign reminds everyone to toss those wipes into the trash.


Repairing the broken sewer line that runs 35-feet below the surface, under U.S. 42 and twice under Harrods Creek, is a complicated process. Under the ground is a large casing pipe that holds two pipes inside of it. One of the smaller pipes is a 42-inch gravity sewer line. The other pipe is a 30-inch force main, which is a sewer line that flows by the force of pumps instead of gravity. A discharge—or sewer leak—was reported on the Woodlands side of the creek in late November. Excavation work on that side of the creek revealed that the break is more than 750-feet from where the discharge was reported. It is actually under the land in the bend of the stream. The discharged stayed inside the larger casing pipe and flowed to the Woodlands area, making its way up to the surface.

To make such a long repair, MSD needs access from both sides of the break. That is why crews mobilized in the Ken Carla area. The work is taking place mainly on the site between MSD’s pump station and the creek.

MSD installed temporary access roads to allow heavy equipment to reach both repair sites. Construction of a shaft 35-feet below ground is complete on the Woodlands site. Another shaft is needed on the Ken Carla side. The shafts are metal boxes with reinforcing to hold back the soil and protect the crews as they work.

No one will lose sewer service during the repair.

There have been no additional discharges to the creek since the originally reported 1,050,000 gallons. And MSD continues discussions with the state and all regulatory agencies concerning the situation.