Improving Our Community Waterways Together

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Willow Pond at Cherokee ParkWillow Pond at Cherokee Park

Project WIN (Waterway Improvements Now)

Project WIN is MSD’s program to respond to the Federal Consent Decree.  Project WIN includes a series of sewer overflow reduction projects defined in the Integrated Overflow Abatement Plan (IOAP) that will be constructed through 2024, at an estimated cost of $850 million.  Project WIN also includes reducing overflows through enhanced operating procedures developed under the Nine Minimum Control (NMC) and Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) programs.

As a customer of MSD, we want you to be informed and aware of the challenges we face as we develop a program to control sewer overflows and improve water quality in Louisville Metro. While we are legally responsible for meeting our regulatory obligations, your involvement as a partner in improving area water quality will be crucial to the success of our program. As our partner, you deserve to know how our community got to this point and what we are doing to meet our obligations.

  • Much of our sewer system is old and lacks the capacity to handle the current volume of sewage and stormwater. Infrastructure improvements will reduce sewer overflows into our streams and sewer backups into our homes, and help us to reduce health risks associated with exposure to bacteria and contaminants.
  • Sewer overflows pollute streams and rivers throughout Louisville Metro, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. We have devised a plan that will allow us to comply with all state and federal clean water regulations. 
  • Without improvements, we could face severe financial consequences for failing to meet federal and state regulations by the 2024 deadline.  Fines, limits on growth and economic expansion, and the higher costs of operating a failing system are some of the possible consequences.
  • Polluted water leads to crippled growth opportunities. Therefore, we must make efforts to protect our streams to enable future community growth. 
  • Our program to rehabilitate our sewer system will improve local water quality; protect the health of our citizens and future generations. Our children and grandchildren will enjoy a cleaner and healthier environment tomorrow, if we invest in our infrastructure today.

Federal Consent Decree Federal Consent Decree

Consent Decree TimelineThe Consent Decree is a federally-enforceable, legally binding agreement which resolves alleged violations of the Clean Water Act for untreated overflows from Louisville’s combined and separate sanitary sewer systems.   During rainstorms, the sewers become overloaded with rainwater and discharge the combined water and sewage into local streams and the Ohio River.  These overflows are due to several issues, including some that stem back to the construction of the first sewers in Louisville in the early 1800’s. read more

Louisville's Sewer Overflows Louisville's Sewer Overflows

Sanitary sewers are designed to carry wastewater from sinks, showers, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers away from buildings, transporting that wastewater to a treatment center.  Once treated to regulatory standards, that water is then released back to its source – either a stream or the Ohio River. read more

Integrated Overflow Abatement Plan Integrated Overflow Abatement Plan

The vision of Louisville’s Overflow Abatement Plan Approach is to provide a long-term plan to control CSOs and unauthorized discharges in both the CSS and SSS.  Implementing the integrated program, known as the Integrated Overflow Abatement Plan (IOAP) is expected to improve water quality in both Louisville Metro streams and the Ohio River. read more