Diageo approved for sewer usage

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Will fund the majority of nearly $3 million in upgades

By Lisa King

Diageo officials received approval Tuesday night from the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission for it’s new distillery to be included in the service area.

The global distilling brand is beginning work on a new $118 million facility including a 1.8 million proof gallon bourbon distillery that will be located on nearly 300 acres on Benson Pike, and at Tuesday night’s meeting, Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty made sure the approval was worded so that only that specific property, which is outside of the city, was to be included in the expansion of the service area.

The two groups then worked out a memorandum of understanding that outlines the financial requirements for the $2.7 million in improvements and additions to the system.

“This is a very draft form; it’s basically outlining everything we’ve talked about,” Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Manager Tom Doyle said.

Establishing the connection, Doyle said, comes down to three phases.

The first phase will be the construction of a pump station on the distillery’s property that will cost $1.25 million, which Diageo is responsible for.

However, the company is eligible for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, Doyle said, which the city has applied for. Community Block Grants must be obtained through a municipality.

Doyle then described phase two as the addition of gravity sewers at a cost of nearly $1 million.

“Gravity flows all the way down to the Governor’s Square pump station; that cost is being shared,” he said. “We had a little over a nine-hundred thousand dollar price tag on it. Luckily, Boone Station Road is done, and some of that pipe is over-sized. We have an existing gravity sewer from Benson Road in the Summerfield subdivision area that flows to our Governor’s Square pump station, located behind Cola Commons. That line is near capacity, so capacity will have to be increased for that sewer line.”

Doyle said that of that nearly $1 million, about $100,000 will come from a state KIA grant, the commission will contribute $200,000 per its policy to pay 25 percent for aging infrastructure, and the balance of $600,000 will be paid for by Diageo.

Phase three involves the gravity sewer line that runs to the Bradshaw Street pump station, located behind Southern States. It accepts all the sewage from the east end of the commission’s service area.

“That line is at capacity now,” Doyle said. “We’ve experienced problems in that area, so with this project coming in, we’re going to go ahead and increase capacity on our east end system, running from 1st Street down to the Bradshaw Street pump station.”

That will cost $600,000 and will be paid for by the commission. However, Doyle said, the commission will pay for the majority of it out of its system development fund, explaining that developers have to pay a system development charge when they hook onto the system. The amount they pay is based on how many gallons they will use.

“That money goes into a special fund that can only be used for capitol projects to increase capacity in our system,” he said. 

“These are all preliminary estimated figures, once we get into design, numbers will be fine-tuned. However, the basic principal for paying for everything will be the same.”



Protecting the lake

In Diageo’s original approval, the company was approved to take as much as 180,000 gallons per day Guist Creek Lake, and many have wondered how that would affect the lake, along with how the company plans to get rid of waste in the area.

“I think they’ve come back with a good plan for the protection of Guist Creek Lake,” said Doyle.

Dan Feeser, director of engineering for Diageo, said the distillery would construct six warehouses, at the rate of one per year, except for the first year, when two will be built, and will operate one shift per day, five days per week.

“We have proposed a conservation zone around the property, which is part of the original design,” he said, which includes maximizing the amount of green space around the lake and includes a 200-foot conservation area.

The property will drain to a large sediment basin in the rear; a smaller one will be located in front; burms will also be installed.

Said Doyle: “The key thing is that any of the water that falls on the developed part of the property will drain to a bio-sedimentation basin. The water will be cleaned before it goes back into the lake. It will go through a bio-filtration system before it goes back into the ground water.

“Secondly, any accidental spills of product on the property goes to that same containment area, and it can be shut down and it stays in there until they do remediation on it.

“The third thing we looked at was a disaster situation, the worst being a fire in one of the warehouses. They’ve gone beyond what they’re required to do, which is put spaces between the warehouses, and the building itself has containment in it, plus the overflow from that goes to the other containment area. So the lake is protected by all the safety measures they’ve put in to contain any spill of product.”

With the water withdrawal permit, Diageo will pump into a large pond in front of the distillery. Part of that will be sent to the distillery for cooling towers and other uses, and part will trickle back naturally into the lake. That pond will be separate from the bio-retention basin.

Also, 75,000 gallons per day of wastewater will go through the sewer. The facility will also use 100,000 gallons of city water for the manufacture of spirits.

Doyle said he estimates that it will take at least a year to make all the improvements to the sewer systems.

Magistrate Hubie Pollett, who is also on the commission, said he liked what Diageo proposed.

“I think it’s a good plan, they have a lot of fire protection, they [distilleries in years past] didn’t use to have that, no burms,” he said.