Bullitt County residents upset by sludge dumped in creek

Bullitt County creek contaminated by concrete waste dumping

BROOKS, KY (WAVE) - Some people living in Bullitt County are upset with a company that’s left a creek filled with concrete waste running through their properties.

Sludge in the creek is making it hard for water to flow. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Sludge in the creek is making it hard for water to flow. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

They said they’ve contacted state agencies, the federal EPA and others to fix the problem in the waterway that leads to the Salt River.

Neighbors said dams have been put up by the company to stop the sludge from moving down stream, but rain knocked some of them down. Residents said they first noticed the problem after finding dead fish along the banks of the Bullitt County creek near New Ed Quick Road.

"There was dead fish laying on the beds of the creeks," Rhonda Gribbins, who lives on the creek, said. "The kids always are playing in there and everything, we didn't really think a lot about it."

But then she said she investigated her land and found milky water and a gray sludge building up.

“You couldn’t get up in there with a four wheeler anymore it was so thick,” Gribbins said.

About four miles upstream, Wendy Geary and her family were noticing the same thing -- a build up that’s only left a small path for water to get through in some spots.

"We made several phone calls to Frankfort to Bullitt County prior to any of it blowing up," Geary said. "It took social media."

They would find out what the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet confirmed with WAVE 3 News. KYTC said pavement grinding on Poplar Level Road was creating a mixture of dust and water.

The prime contractor, Bluegrass Contracting, was required to dispose of it and found a property owner who let them dump it. But the waste then ran off into the creek.

"This is damaging our properties, more importantly the wildlife in the area," Gribbins said.

Animal tracks could be seen in the mixture Monday. A woman, whose family lives nearby, said she was also concerned her dog might have died because it came in contact with the waste.

“It’s just sad,” Geary said. “It’s just disheartening.”

Neighbors met Monday night with an environmental attorney.

Some of those at the meeting said they’ve been approached by the contractor to build a road through their properties to clean up the creek. They said they don’t want their land to be torn up to get to water they had no part in dirtying.

“We want the creek to be restored, but we want the creek to be restored without further destruction of our land,” Geary said.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said Bluegrass Contracting has voluntarily suspended diamond grinding work on the project. The company declined to comment.

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