This link will open a new tab to a different website.

Press "Yes" to confirm.

Utilities Report

High quality utilities are essential for Kenton County to continue to support existing and future development which in turn will make the County competitive for jobs and a well-qualified workforce. There are currently several challenges being faced by utility providers in Kenton County, from economic development and site readiness, to maintaining and upgrading aging infrastructure. This chapter will examine utilities and services provided by three important organizations within Kenton County. The Sanitation District No. 1, the Northern Kentucky Water District and the Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area all provide essential services to the county which are vital to providing a safe, healthy, and attractive environment which contributes to the overall economic competitiveness of the area.


Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) manages sanitary and stormwater systems for the majority of Kenton County as shown in Figure 1. SD1 services 191 square miles, covering over 30 municipalities and unincorporated portions of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. The agency has approximately 196,000 total customers and maintains 123 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations and three major wastewater treatment plants. There are approximately 440 miles of storm sewer and over 1,650 miles of sanitary sewer lines within SD1’s jurisdiction. Wastewater is conveyed to three treatment plants in Northern Kentucky. Combined, SD1 major plants treat an average of 35.5 million gallons of wastewater per day from more than 94,000 sanitary customers.  

Clean H2040

One of the most significant challenges facing SD1 and Kenton County is the reduction of stormwater overflow events. Overflows occur during wet weather when stormwater enters the system and exceeds the engineered capacity for rainwater. Excess rainfall overloads the system and combines with wastewater to form a mixture which can contain harmful bacteria. During particularly heavy rain events, stormwater is discharged into natural waterways at outfalls, entering into the region’s natural environment through creeks and rivers, and is harmful to humans and the ecosystem. SD1 has 97 outfalls within its coverage area. SD1’s Clean H2O40 program is an agreement between SD1, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, to address combined sewer overflows (CSO’s) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s). Under Clean H2O40, SD1 has target overflow reduction metrics every five years through a final deadline on January 1, 2040.

Clean H2O40 projects will improve reliability of the sewer system, eliminate a number of overflow locations and improve water quality.  By the year 2040 SD1 will completely eliminate sanitary sewer overflows in a typical year; and recapture at least 85 percent of the typical-year combined system flow.

To attain these goals, SD1 is going to build a system that works smarter, not harder.  Equalization tanks, detention basins and other structures are being built to strategically store flow during heavy rains and then control how and when that flow is reintroduced into our system.

This controlled storage approach, combined with targeted upsizing of pipes, is the most cost-effective strategy to meet the requirements of the Clean H2O40.

5-Year Milestones

SD1’s progress will be measured at critical 5-year milestones to ensure the utility is on pace to reach its Clean H2O40 goals. Those milestone dates are:

  • July 1, 2023:  At least 67 percent recapture of typical-year combined system flow and elimination of at least 20 percent of baseline typical-year SSOs
  • January 1, 2029: At least 75 percent recapture of typical-year combined system flow and elimination of at least 75 percent of baseline typical-year SSOs
  • July 1, 2034: At least 80 percent recapture of typical-year combined system flow and elimination of at least 90 percent of baseline typical-year SSOs
  • January 1, 2040: At least 85 percent recapture of typical-year combined system flow and elimination of 100 percent of baseline typical-year SSO 


The Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) is the largest publicly owned water district in the state of Kentucky and provides service to a majority of Kenton County as shown in Figure 2. The NKWD provides water for approximately 300,000 people in Northern Kentucky; including Kenton and Campbell Counties and portions of Boone, Grant, and Pendleton Counties. The system covers approximately 229 square miles, with 1,325 miles of main lines, and a total treatment capacity of 64 million gallons of water per day. NKWD utilizes 13 distribution pump stations, 19 water storage tanks, and currently produces on average 26.7 million gallons of water a day.  

There are three water treatment plants: Taylor Mill, Fort Thomas, and Memorial Parkway. The Taylor Mill Treatment Plant draws water from the Licking River while the Fort Thomas and Memorial Parkway Treatment Plants draw from the Ohio River.  Kenton County receives its water from the Taylor Mill and Fort Thomas plants. 

WATER QUALITY                           





The three Northern Kentucky Counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton form the Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area (NKSWMA). The NKSWMA was created with the goal of improving communication between the counties; as well as better coordination of regional solid waste programs such as education, cleanup and recycling events, and reports. Kenton County and its constituent cities use private contracts for the collection and disposal of solid waste.

The NKSWMA is required by law to update its Solid Waste Plan every five years. In the Plan, various solid waste information is compiled and paired with the area’s plans for the future. Focus areas include recycling, disposal participation, litter, illegal dumps, and education.

Collection System Strengths              Collection System Weaknesses


The three utilities discussed in this chapter provide more than adequate service to the county. With SD1 working to comply with Clean H2O40, the County’s sewer system is undergoing an upgrade that will improve SD1’s ability to process sewage and keep the local water ways cleaner. Ninety nine percent of County residents receive water through the NKWD and they are pursuing grants to add the final one percent to the system, when possible. There are no areas that have a water shortage issue. Kenton County has a good water system and is in a constant state of improvement. Everyone in the County has access to solid waste service, and the NKSWMA reevaluates itself every five years to improve its services.

  1Source: Sanitation District No. 1
  2Source: Northern Kentucky Water District
  3Source: Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area