Mayor Ron Littlefield said Tuesday he hopes to have a new Water Quality Authority in place before the end of the year.
He said the stand-alone authority would operate similarly to the EPB, which he said "has had great success."
Mayor Littlefield said, "EPB is over electric and data, and the new authority would be over water with a goal to be efficient and effective."
The panel could have a focus on reaching compliance with EPA and TDEC requirements and a current consent decree, he stated.
He said the initial setup would consist of the city's Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant, sewer system and stormwater collection program. Those are currently all under city public works.
The mayor said other entities would be invited to join, including utility districts and the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority.
He said he had not been opposed to the idea of the city going in under the WWTA, but he said it has a cumbersome board setup and has taken on "some responsibilities that I think will be difficult for them to live up to." He referred to a plan to fix problems with all its customers' lines going from the home to the main WWTA line.
Mayor Littlefield said he envisions a five-member board for the new authority, similar to that of the EPB.
He said it is not necessary to get special legislation to authorize such an authority. He said that is already in place.
A public hearing on the proposal will be held at City Hall on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.