Infrastructure investment drives Louisville Water Company’s 2022 budget
Today the Board of Water Works, the governing body for Louisville Water Company, approved the company’s 2022 budget and a small increase in the cost of drinking water.
Often, it’s what you don’t see that makes it possible for safe drinking water to flow from the faucet. In 2022, Louisville Water will invest more than $80 million dollars to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure that produce and deliver billions of gallons of Louisville’s drinking water, Louisville Pure Tap™.
The budget includes $112 million for capital investments and the largest part of those dollars, $80 million, is for replacing and repairing water mains and updating equipment at Louisville Water’s treatment plants. Some of the projects include:
- Funding for more than 30 projects to replace older, smaller-diameter water mains
- Replacing one of Louisville Water’s largest and oldest water mains as part of the Frankfort Avenue Main Replacement Project
- Improving the filters and pump station facilities at the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant
- Planning for new water main and pump stations to increase water delivery to Nelson and Hardin Counties
Louisville Water will use more than $8.3 million from Kentucky’s Cleaner Water Fund to start a project to replace a 100+ year old water main along Oak Street, improve service reliability near West Muhammad Ali Street, install pipe to make water service available to people in Bullitt County, and improve the water system in Oldham County.
“Annual investments in infrastructure are important to maintain reliable service,” said Spencer Bruce, President & CEO of Louisville Water. “Louisville Water’s history of proactively taking care of the more than 4,000 miles of water main is considered a national model. Our customers expect quality water and reliable service, and we deliver that every day.”
Additionally, Louisville Water will continue a multi-year effort to upgrade water meters throughout Jefferson County. Over the next three years, more than 250,000 Jefferson County customers will move from bi-monthly billing to monthly billing as Louisville Water upgrades the meters that record the water usage.
Recovering from the Pandemic
Water sales continue to recover from the stark decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, water sales were at their lowest levels since the 1960s. The biggest decline was in the business sector and through November 2021, water sales to commercial and industrial customers continue to lag behind pre-COVID-19 numbers. Overall, in 2021, Louisville Water expects to deliver 33.4 billion gallons of drinking water to nearly a million people in Louisville and surrounding counties. That’s up from 2020 (31.8 billion gallons), and Louisville Water projects this will increase to 33.7 billion gallons in 2022 as recovery from the pandemic continues.
Many residential customers still struggle to pay their water bill, and the 2022 budget includes funding for Drops of Kindness, our customer assistance program. Along with the Louisville Water Foundation and Louisville MSD, Drops of Kindness provides direct bill relief and customized payment plans. The 2022 budget includes $250,000 for Drops of Kindness community partners that help customers pay an outstanding balance. Helping customers has been a priority since March 2020 with more than 25,000 customers receiving payment assistance.
Reliable Service and a Good Value
The Board of Water Works sets the cost for drinking water and approved a 93 cent increase in the average monthly bill for a Louisville Water residential customer. Beginning January 1, 2022, a residential customer who uses an average of 4,000 gallons of water a month will pay $25.84.
Louisville Water will post the updated 2022 rate schedule on LouisvilleWater.com after its December board meeting.