Water Department


Water Department

The City of Bardstown has been treating and providing water to its residents since 1904 and now serves approximately 12,000 customers across half of Nelson County as well as parts of neighboring Hardin and Washington Counties and sells water to Larue, Bloomfield and North Nelson Water Districts .  We maintain over 350 miles of water main, and produce an average of 3.7 MGD per day (1.35 billion gallons per year) from our 8 MGD capacity water treatment plant located below the dam of Sympson Lake on Boston Road.

During months with little rainfall, water can be pumped from the Beech Fork River to holding lagoons at the rate of 6 million gallons per day to supplement the lake. The Water Plant and Distribution System employs 10 full time operators and 11 field crew members.


  • 1903- The City begins treating its water.
  • 1904- Water is pumped from the new plant on East Broadway, now the Civil War Museum. During months of drought, water was hauled by truck to the treatment plant.
  • 1944- A permanent line to the Beech Fork River was installed to supplement the lake.
  • 1963- Sympson lake construction was complete with a capacity to handle 1.2 billion gallons
  • 1965- The current water treatment plant opened with a pumping capacity of two million gallons per day with 2 clearwells being constructed with 150,000 gallons each.
  • 1973- Treatment expansion to increase to 3 million gallons per day and added a 250 hp high service pump.
  • 1984-Upgraded existing 3 filter units to include tube settlers, added another high service pump, increased the low services pumps, resulting in 4.5 million gallons of water treatment and pumping capacity.  Clearwell No. 3 was added with 280,000 gallons of finish water storage.
  • 1994- New sludge pumps, pit, and large lagoons added adjacent to Sympson Lake to meet EPA discharge requirements improving water quality of Buffalo Creek.  A raw water pump station was added to the Beechfork River to supplement the reservoir during dry weather months.
  • 1996- No. 4 filter was constructed taking the treatment capacity of the plant to 6 MGD.
  • 1997-Flood of record hit Bardstown.  Members of the community worked together to construct a sandbag levee around the water plant preventing catastrophic damage.
  • 1999-Permanent Flood levee was completed to protect Bardstown Water Plant from flood waters.
  • 2000- Actiflo system added as the initial treatment process  to improve water quality.
  • 2010- The treatment plant can now treat up to 8 million gallons per day with a 1 million gallon glass lined clearwell for water storage.
  • 2017- Backwash line upsized to 24" and top of filter chlorination added at the Water Plant.