This project, which is part of MSD’s program to greatly reduce sewage from overflowing into Louisville’s waterways. Storage basins throughout our city and the Ohio River Tunnel are designed to capture rainwater and sewage, which otherwise can overwhelm the sewer system during rain events and flow untreated into our waterways. The basins and tunnel retain the mixture of rainwater and sewage until the rain subsides and capacity is available, and then gradually release it back into the sewer system. At that point, the water is conveyed to a water quality treatment center, treated and returned to our local streams or the Ohio River.
The Ohio River Tunnel Project will take the place of three proposed basin projects—Lexington and Payne; Story and Main; and, Thirteenth and Rowan streets. The construction of this deep-rock tunnel will be less disruptive—than the construction of the three basins and their conveyance lines—for the downtown business district, Butchertown business district and for traffic in the affected neighborhoods during the two-to-three year construction period. Additionally, the Ohio River Tunnel Project offers the same storage capacity of the three proposed basins for about the same cost.