Kentucky American plans open house

Kentucky American Water Company.   3-31-08.  Lexington, KY
Kentucky American Water Company. 3-31-08. Lexington, KY

To celebrate 125 years of operation, Kentucky American Water will have an open house Tuesday at its headquarters, 2300 Richmond Road.

The free event, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., will include tours of Lexington's original water treatment plant, educational booths, children's activities and refreshments.

Kentucky American traces its roots to 1885, when Lexington Hydraulic and Manufacturing Co., chartered by three local businessmen a few years earlier, began operation as the city's first waterworks.

The company's name changed to Lexington Water Co. in 1922. It became Kentucky-American Water Co. in 1973.

The lake next to the company's offices — completed in 1884 — was the city's first reservoir. Spurred by a devastating 1930 drought, the company ran a pipeline to the Kentucky River.

The anniversary observance comes as the state Public Service Commission considers a controversial request for a 37 percent rate increase to pay for a new treatment plant and pipeline to augment the water supply. The PSC will hold a public meeting on the issue at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Norsworthy Auditorium at the "It's About Kids" Support Service Center, 701 East Main Street.