Fayette County

Raw sewage pours into South Elkhorn Creek

A malfunctioning valve allowed raw sewage to pour into South Elkhorn Creek late Thursday and early Friday, killing an unknown number of fish, a city official said.

The spill began near Old Bridge Lane off Harrodsburg Road, said Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Newberry. An estimated 83,000 gallons poured from the 4-inch valve, which was attached to a 36-inch sewer line, she said. The spill was reported at 11:15 p.m. Thursday and was contained by 5:30 a.m. Friday.

The valve is designed to let air escape from sewer lines. Sometimes, Straub said, such valves become clogged with cigarette butts and other debris and stick in an open position.

The number of fish killed had not been determined Friday, Straub said. She said one city employee reported that the kill was sporadic.

The state Division of Fish and Wildlife Resources will come up with an estimate and send the city a bill, she said.

The state Division of Water was notified. Straub said the city and state will work together to clean up the area downstream from the spill.