15-ton valves installed near Seneca Golf Course

If you’ve been perfecting your golf swing at the Seneca Golf Course recently, you may have noticed a different kind of iron near the course. Louisville Water is adding four massive 30,000-lb iron gate valves to a major 60-inch water main.

The valves will allow sections of the main to be isolated in case of main breaks. This water main starts at the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant and runs to the Cardinal Hill Reservoir. The valves will be added to the part of the main near Seneca Park.

The company is also connecting a 24-inch water main in the same area to the 60-inch water main to continue reliable water service. This $2 million project is part of an ongoing Louisville Water program that assesses the condition of the larger mains in the distribution system.

“The purpose of this valve installation is to prevent our customers from losing water in case there is a main break,” said Dennis Pike, a contract construction inspector for Louisville Water. “This is a 60-inch water main that will continue to supply water to the surrounding area near Seneca Park.”

A gate valve controls water flow in a water main with a gate that can be raised or lowered by turning the valve handle. Louisville Water uses a machine to turn these giant valves because it takes approximately 980 turns to open and close them.

The project has two construction sites on Pee Wee Reese Road, one across from the Seneca Golf Course clubhouse, and the second by Rock Creek Parkway. Each site will get two valves.

“The valves will allow us to isolate sections of the 60-inch main for repair and/or inspection and avoid taking the entire three miles of water main out of service, which saves both water and time,” added Joseph Bentley, Louisville Water’s project engineer on the project.

This main is a prestressed concrete pressure pipe and was originally installed in 1952. One foot of this 60-inch pipe holds about 150 gallons of water. Louisville Water drained the main at both construction sites before work began. Contractor Garney Construction excavated the site, cut the water main to make room for the valves, and installed the valves in place. Final work is being completed this week.

Customers will not lose water service during the project except for an overnight interruption to the Seneca Golf Course clubhouse. Pee Wee Reese Road is closed from Taylorsville Road up to the clubhouse until November 20.