MSD breaks ground on $60 million underground basin

MSD breaks ground on $60 million underground basin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - MSD broke ground on the $60 million Shawnee Park Basin Project on Tuesday.

The project is key in its effort of reducing sewer overflows into the Ohio river, also while preserving the historic nature of Shawnee Park.

The basin, which will be largely invisible to the public when completed will be constructed under a portion of the Great Lawn in Shawnee Park.

The project is a collective effort between MSD, Louisville Metro Parks, The Olmsted Parks Conservancy, community leaders, and local residents. The project features new park amenities, including:

  • an open-air pavilion,
  • enhanced green space,
  • premium landscaping,
  • a new paved parking area,
  • a resurfaced look road,
  • renovation of the lily pond,
  • restoration of the Ball House and athletic courts.

The 20 million gallon underground Shawnee Park Basin will be a sealed, watertight concrete structure that will capture untreated waste water during storm events, instead of it flowing into the Ohio River. The top of the basin is approximately 12 feet below grade, with three-foot thick reinforced concrete walls. Waste water is stored in the basin until the storm subsides, then pumped to the nearest treatment center, treated and returned to local streams or the Ohio River.

The project is part of an $940 million mandate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up local waterways and is one of seven combined sewer overflow basins in planning or construction phases in Louisville, according to the press release.

"This project is a step toward keeping Shawnee Park and the surrounding area a beautiful place while at the same time dealing with drainage problems that we are all too familiar with. In the end, we will have the best of both worlds with new facilities and a cleaner sustainable area of the community," said Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton of District 5.

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