WWTA To Launch $7,310,000 Project In East Ridge To Avert Sewage Overflows And Lift Building Moratorium

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - by Gail Perry

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority is planning a $7,310,000 project in East Ridge to avert sewage overflows and get a moratorium lifted on commercial and residential building.


WWTA officials held a public meeting in East Ridge Monday night to inform residents of work that the authority is preparing to perform in the city and the loan that is being applied for to pay for it.

The goal of all the work is to identify sources of extraneous water that overwhelms the sanitary sewer system when it enters the system during wet weather events.


The Federal Clean Water Act was established in 1969 and in 1972 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to implement the act. Now each state has an agency that is responsible for implementation. In Tennessee, that department is The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), which is requiring the work that will be taking place in Hamilton County.


Overflows were defined by Scott McDonald, project manager of the “East Ridge Sanitary Sewer Basin Project,” as being any time sewage leaves the system from either manholes or other lines. Overflows are detected by monitors that are placed through the system and by employees of WWTA who witness them. If a city has more than five overflow events in 12 months, TDEC requires a moratorium on any new residential or commercial building. This has been the case in East Ridge.


The $7,310,000 loan that will fund the project will come from the state of Tennessee's Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The work must be done first, said Mr. McDonald, because it is paid as reimbursements after the actual, final cost is known. It will be used for sewer investigation, design and rehabilitation in East Ridge. He said that the current pay structure is sufficient to repay the loan.


Actual construction will take place in the eastern portion of East Ridge referred to as Basin 10, while looking for problems will take place in other parts of town. The work, for the most part, will be performed as “trenchless rehabilitation,” consisting of repairs to 22,000 linear feet of interceptor lines, which are the large diameter lines that join 8-10 neighborhoods. Rehabilitation of 1,800 vertical feet of manholes in the eastern portion will also be done.


In other sections scattered throughout East Ridge, examination of the system will take place by smoke testing, manhole inspections which use a camera to look into a manhole for defects, and closed circuit video that records from one manhole to another looking for broken or cracked pipes where stormwater enters the sewer system. GPS is used to locate each defect that is discovered and it is then marked on a map. Information is gathered and analyzed and the WWTA will fix the worst areas that contribute to overflows.


Methods used to rehabilitate the system without digging up roads will include lining manholes with a bright pink polymer, replacing perforated manhole covers that allow water to enter the system with solid covers, “cured in pipe” which puts a new pipe inside an old one, and pulling a pipe from one manhole to another. Roads should be closed only a day to day and a half using these techniques. In some cases, open cuts might be the only way a repair can be made, said Mr. McDonald.


The order of work will be to first repair the main lines, then connections to the “laterals,” which are lines that join each home or building to the main line. Work on manholes will be next. It is expected that the time to complete repairs will be 278 days.


The WWTA is also responsible for regulating the quality of water discharged into the wastewater collection system and treatment facilities in Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Red Bank, Ridgeside, Signal Mountain, Soddy Daisy and unincorporated areas of Hamilton County.

Another public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Red Bank Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m. to inform residents in those areas about the $1,560,000 loan that will used for testing the sanitary sewer system and evaluating problems in those towns.



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