A southwestern Indiana developer faces a nearly $800,000 utility bill for releasing water into Evansville’s sewers from a restored apartment building’s geothermal heating-cooling system.
Evansville’s water and sewer utility estimates the McMurdy apartment building sends 12 million gallons (45 million liters) of water each month to Evansville’s treatment plant. The utility billed The Kunkel Group in October more than $784,000 for those water discharges.
Developer Adam Kunkel has said the spring water used to cool heat exchangers in the building’s geothermal system should be accepted into city storm sewers just like rain water.
But The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Evansville’s combined sewage and storm sewers are prone to overflowing into the Ohio River during heavy rainfall. Evansville is under a federal consent decree to improve its sewage facilities.