Environment

Metropolitan Sewer District officials are still trying to reach the source of a sewage leak more than a month after workers first discovered a broken pipe in Prospect, Kentucky.

The 30-inch pressurized sewer pipe failed in late November causing more than a million gallons of sewage to flow into Harrods Creek.

MSD spokeswoman Sheryl Lauder said river flooding and muddy conditions have slowed progress on the repairs.

“The whole situation is so challenging because the pipe is 35 feet deep,” she said. “You’re right, right beside Harrods Creek, which is in a flood plain and we are in flood season.”

The entire site flooded when the Ohio River crested December 19, then nearly flooded again on Wednesday.

Lauder anticipates workers will reach the broken pipe by Friday or Saturday. The repairs aren’t expected to interrupt service and MSD has not yet released a cost estimate.

MSD originally trucked out sewage from the line, but has since rerouted the pipes to keep the sewer water inside the system.

“We basically poked a hole in a sewer pipe and poked a hole in another sewer pipe and connected the two,” Lauder said.

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

More than a half million gallons of fresh sewage is expected to flow into Harrods Creek after a force main break in Prospect, Kentucky, on December 11, 2019.

The sewage line was originally installed only about six years ago. MSD installed the sewage main to replace outdated package treatment plants that frequently failed and caused sewage to overflow into the creek.

Lauder said MSD isn’t yet sure what happened, but the worst case scenario would involve a broken pipe underneath Harrods Creek.

Officials are asking the public to avoid to contact with Harrods Creek from Harrods Run Road to the Ohio River.

Metropolitan Sewer District

MSD sewer main break in Prospect, Kentucky.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.