LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — Louisville Water crews said they encountered a historic roadblock while working on the Frankfurt Avenue Main Replacement Project.
The water company said the discovery was determined to be an old check valve dating back to the 1870s.
Buried underground, a check valve prevents backflow, allowing water to flow in one direction without flowing in the opposite direction.
According to Louisville Water, the check valve found is made of cast iron and weighs about 15,000 pounds. The valve is seven feet high and seven feet wide.
According to a press release, one of Louisville Water’s site inspectors, Tony Gathof, found the valve during a routine pipe inspection in late 2021.
Former Louisville Water President and CEO John Huber said the valve was likely installed during construction of the Central State Hospital on LaGrange Road.
Huber said the large valve was built to support higher water pressure with a lighter flapper. The valve’s installation was funded by state officials who, according to the water company, wanted to extend water mains to a standpipe near the facility.
According to Louisville Water, the valve was built for the Crescent Hill water storage tank, which was decommissioned and replaced by the Westport Road pumping station. The store was demolished in the 1980s.
The valve was removed in early May to make way for a new water line, which Louisville Water said will provide additional plumbing and more flexibility to carry and divert water to customers.
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