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The county's water supply is in good shape for the next 20 years, according to a recent report.
At Tuesday night's meeting of the Shelby County Fiscal Court, The county’s water supply is in good shape for the next 20 years, according to a recent report.
At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Shelby County Fiscal Court, Tom Doyle, manager of Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer, updated magistrates on the Guist Creek Lake Capacity Restoration Study. That update included good and bad news. The good news is the study shows the county’s water supply to be adequate for the county’s needs for about the next two decades. Doyle said the study, which started about two years ago, looked at how much water is in Guist Creek Lake, about 1.6 billion gallons. “We found that there was more water in the lake than we had originally thought, because we have better surveying equipment now,” he said. “The lake is doing well this year because of all the rainfall we’ve had. Also, the lake has such a large drainage basin that it can capture water very quickly.” Now for the bad news: Shelby County has no alternate water supply. But not to worry, at least not yet, Doyle said. He said that Shelby County is looking at a proposed $52 million water line from Louisville to Frankfort as a future source of water. At this time, the county has gotten some grant money to do some more preliminary engineering studies, he said. “We’re at the stage right now to continue to find grant money to build as much of it as we can,” he said. In the meantime, he recommends that another survey of the lake be done in five to 10 years. Doyle reported that the current county water usage is 3.1 million gallons a day. The peak water usage for the year is 4.7 million gallons per day. In addition to Doyle’s report, Charlie Frazee, Emergency Management Agency director, reported on the Guist Creek Lake Dam Emergency Action Plan. That plan was recently completed with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, Frazee said, an agency that also absorbed most of the cost of the study. “There is $75,000 worth of engineering involved in this plan, but we never paid a penny,” he said. The purpose of the plan is to identify flood danger zones and to outline an evacuation plan for people in those areas. “There are people downstream who would be affected in the event of dam failure,” Frazee said. “This plan gives us an evacuation timeframe for residents.” Frazee said that all three dams are in good shape and that this plan was just prepared for the county to have an emergency action plan to follow just in case. The plan also outlines the responsibilities and duties of various county agencies, such as central dispatch, water and sewers, sheriff, emergency management, division of water and the department of fish and wildlife. Central Dispatch would be responsible for issuing warnings and evacuations, the sheriff’s office would take care of road closings, and county fire would supervise evacuations. The plan also includes an evacuation list of 13 property owners who are in the danger area, as well as 13 road closures that will be carried out in the event of a dam failure. Other Fiscal Court agenda items