5:30am

Fri April 6, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Raw Sewage Released Into the Ohio River

The Metropolitan Sewer District has reported a release of 2.5 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Ohio River. The cause was an electrical malfunction yesterday morning. Most of the sewage from homes and businesses in the Beargrass Creek watershed goes to the seven-year-old Starkey Pump Station in Butchertown, which sends sewage to the Morris Forman Treatment Plant. The problem began at Starkey.

There are four pumps at that station, but an electrical surge disabled one of them. For about 44 minutes, 2.5 million gallons of sewage had nowhere to go…so it overflowed into the Ohio River.

To put that amount in perspective, that’s about the amount of oil that leaked each day during the BP Gulf oil spill in 2010.

MSD Spokesman Steve Tedder says the event was unfortunate, but electrical surges are beyond MSD’s control.

“There’s just, whenever you’re dealing with equipment and electricity and so forth, things happen, and we try to ensure that things don’t, to the best of our ability,” he said. “But unfortunately, this did.”

The problem has since been fixed.