Tennessee American Water Begins 2nd Major Phase Of New River Pipe

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tennessee American Water has begun the next major phase of the installation of the new additional pipe in the Tennessee River.  The company has begun excavating to make ready for a 60-inch tunnel.  The tunnel will go under the Tennessee Riverpark sidewalk in order for Tennessee American Water to connect the pipe from river to the water plant and without disruption for park users.

Tennessee American Water began the $3.2 million project to install a 30-inch pipe in the Tennessee River in May. This new pipe will be one of three - and the largest - that delivers water to the 20,000 customers on the north side of Chattanooga, Red Bank and Signal Mountain. The pipe adds redundancy and resiliency to the water delivery system to assure reliable water services. The entire project is expected to go through December. Tennessee American Water is investing a total of $20 million in capital projects in the community’s drinking water system in 2018, including the new river pipe.

“The last pipe that Tennessee American Water installed in the river was in 1963,” said Tennessee American Water engineering manager Kurt Stafford.  “This unique project is not one that you would see every day and visitors on the Riverpark will notice the large barge in the river and the excavation activity at the plant.”

Tennessee American Water continues to excavate in the Tennessee River to create a trench in the riverbed to lay the pipe.  The process involves using a small charge to crack the rock.  The blasting process takes less than 10 minutes and the work is performed from a barge.

“Reliable water infrastructure is a critical part of economic stability and growth,” said Mr. Stafford. “A 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers study found interruption of water service for only one day would result in businesses reliant on that water seeing a drop in sales of up to 75%,” he said.

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