Louisville breaks ground on tunnel to keep sewage from river

Courtesy: Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District has broken ground on a $200 million tunnel that will direct rainwater and sewage away from the Ohio River.

The Courier-Journal reports the initiative is part of a nearly $1 billion waterway cleanup plan required by state regulators and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Construction began January 10 is expected to be finished by December 31, 2020.

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Officials say the tunnel will be more than 2 miles (3 kilometers) long, 20 feet (6 meters) in diameter and 200 feet (61 meters) below the surface. It will collect around 351 million gallons of raw sewage and rain annually from nearly two dozen downtown-area locations that now go into the Ohio River.

The sewage and stormwater will be pumped and treated after the rain stops.