County Commission Denies Funding To WWTA For Sewage Treatment Plant Site

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The County Commission, facing an overflow crowd in opposition, on Wednesday voted 6-0 to deny funds for a sewage treatment plant site.

Commissioners and residents hit the process the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) went about pursuing the site at 7800 Mahan Gap Road.

Commissioners said they got little information about the project prior to being asked for a vote to spend $3 million to acquire a 178-acre site.

Residents also said they should have been allowed for full input and been given complete information.

WWTA officials said the commission action would have only been the first step in the process and there would have been full discussion and disclosure at meetings at the planning commission and at public hearings required by the EPA and TDEC.

Mark Harrison, WWTA director, said the site was an excellent location for the plant to cover a 20,000-acre section.  He said the WWTA is already at capacity on sewage it can send to Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant.

He also said that this site could be served by gravity feed, which he said would help curb odors that are more prevalent with pump stations.  He said the county landfill would not work for the plant because of its steep topography.

Mr. Harrison said the plant might also hold effluent from Meigs County and Bradley County. Mr. Harrison said the Moccasin Bend Plant has a capacity of treating 230 million gallons per day, and this plant would be 10 million gallons per day.

He said the effluent would not go into Savannah Bay, but would be released in the Tennessee River across from the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant.

The County Commission earlier approved $45 million for a new sewage treatment plant for the growing Ooltewah area. 

Voting against the resolution were Chairman Sabrina Smedley, Vice Chairman Randy Fairbanks and Commissioners Katherlyn Geter, David Sharpe, Greg Martin and Chester Bankston.  Absent were Chip Baker and Warren Mackey.  Tim Boyd was present at the start of the meeting, but left by the time of the vote.

Large crowd at commission meeting
Large crowd at commission meeting

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