City Public Works and the county's Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) are working together on a plan to help avert major sewage overflows in periods of heavy rain. Officials said Tuesday it will involve the construction of several large sewage holding facilities at three different sites.
Locations include at Lee Highway on a nine-acre site behind HomeServe, near the Welcome Station at the I-75/I-24 split and at a location to be determined in Red Bank.
Justin Holland, city public works director, said the 50-foot-tall tanks would be put into use during rain events to hold wastewater until it can be routed back into the system as water levels go down.
Jeff Rose, who heads the Moccasin Bend Treatment Plant, said the tanks would be cleaned out using water cannons and other techniques after rain events and that odor control equipment would be installed.
He said 80-90 percent of the effluent in the tanks during the rain would be rainwater.
There would likely be three sewer towers near the Welcome Center. Officials said it is in a remote, low-lying area. They said efforts are being made to get all the towers away from residential areas.
The city already has three of the "equalization stations" under construction at Hamm Road.
All the stations in tandem are expected to significantly reduce the some 10 rain events that send up to 40 million gallons of sewage per day into the Tennessee River annually.
The city and county would share costs of the new facilities and they would be owned and operated by the city.
Mr. Holland said the cooperation between the city and WWTA is not related to an ongoing study by a consultant on a possible merger of the WWTA with city public works. The City Council is set to get an update on that issue soon.
The study is for six months and it has been going on over a month.