In 2007 the City of Frankfort initiated a Wet Weather Program aimed at improving the city’s wastewater collection system by dramatically reducing, and ultimately eliminating unpermitted sewer overflows. This multi-million dollar initiative, which is expected to take 10 years or more, involves the implementation of new policies and procedures as well as substantial capital investments in the city’s existing infrastructure, all aimed at increasing the city’s capacity to convey wastewater from its source to the city’s wastewater treatment plant near the Kentucky River.
Working with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Department for Environmental Protection (DEP), Frankfort entered into a consent judgment which provides the framework by which the program is to be completed in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("USEPA") subsequently issued an Administrative Order to the City requiring compliance with the Clean Water Act. These laws and regulations require that the City eliminate all unpermitted discharges. With regard to overflows of wastewater (overflows that typically occur during periods of extended or heavy rainfall) the law requires that all Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) occurrences be eliminated and Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) occurrences be mitigated to the extent possible.
To achieve this goal, existing sewer lines, pump stations and other infrastructure will in some cases have to be upgraded and/or replaced, while in other areas new wastewater infrastructure will have to be built. While all of the specific elements and costs associated with the program have yet to be defined, the goal of the program is to improve the City’s capacity to adequately capture and treat all wastewater before it negatively affects the environment by entering area waterways.
The City of Frankfort, the Frankfort Sewer Department (FSD) and their contractors recognize that public awareness and education are critical components in the success and public acceptance of the program. FSD will ensure that the repairs and upgrades are implemented in a cost effective and timely manner. The City of Frankfort is committed to this concept.
In Frankfort, these improvements, called the Clean Waterways Program, will take several years and cost millions of dollars. This investment will improve our entire community’s health and quality of life while protecting and enhancing the water in the Kentucky River, Elkhorn Creek and other nearby waterways.
The purpose of this website is to help you learn more about this important program so you can partner with us to become part of the solution.
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How can you help
How can you get involved? There are any number of ways.
◾For example, the City of Frankfort is working to provide rain barrels that will capture rainwater from your downspouts so you can use it to water your yard or garden.
If you are a gardener, you may be interested in building a raingarden. These beautiful gardens are designed to capture runoff and automatically water your flowers and plants.
Sewer Use Ordinances
As part of its clean waterways program, the Frankfort Sewer Department is working to minimize the addition of stormwater to the city's sewer system. This is because rainwater can overwhelm the sewers, causing contaminated water to overflow into area waterways and other parts of our community.
Both the City of Frankfort and Franklin County have in place ordinances that define what property owners can and cannot connect to the sewer system. For example, it is illegal to connect sump pumps to the sewer system.