Council approves $2.5 million sewer project

Collapsed pipes, blocked sewer lines, sewage back ups, and even a moratorium handed down by the state limiting growth, Metro Utilities seeks to avoid these bad outcomes by moving forward with a $2.5 million sewer system rehab. [File Photo}

LOCAL NEWS | Collapsed pipes, blocked sewer lines, sewage back ups, and even a moratorium handed down by the state limiting growth … these are just a few of the bad things that can happen if Metro Moore County does not address pressing issues in its sewer system. That’s the opinion Metro Utilities Department (MUD) General Manager Russell Sells presented to the Metro Council on Monday as he appeared before the council to request permission to move ahead with a $2,500,000 State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan to repair the sewer system and restore capacity with an eye towards growth in the county.

Together with S&ME Project Manager Travis Wilson, Sells stated that recent flow studies during both wet and dry conditions revealed multiple root balls, cracks, and other defects that could result in major failures in the future. He also explained the flow monitoring uncovered a massive increase in peak times sewer flow.

Designed and build around 1960, the current system’s built to managed around 300,000 gallons a day. Flow monitoring revealed that during wet weather the system was trying to handle more than 940,000 gallons — a 526 percent increase.

“There’s just no way it can pump that much over a six inch main line,” Sells explained.

According to Sells, if that flow has nowhere to go it can back up into local homes and business, or even overflow through the tops of local manholes.

“The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) allows us five overflows in a single calendar year and we’ve come right up to the edge of that several times.”

Not only could overflows cause Metro problems with state and federal regulatory agencies but they can also fine the local utility. Instead, MUD would like to rehab and repair the older concrete and clay sewer lines with a $2,500,000 project funded by money already baked into the most recent water and sewer increases and facilitated through the low interest loan.

“We try to think four to five years ahead,” explained Sells.

Wilson added that proactive fix are less costly than emergency repairs. The plan calls to rehab 7,000 – 10,000 of Metro’s 40,000 feet of sewer line.

“Point repairs cost around $10,000 each,” Wilson said. “You can rehab it with lining for around $48 a foot. It’s a very economical repair.”

The Metro Council voted unanimously to move ahead with the project. The resolution will require two more readings and a public hearing. If it receives final approval, MUD anticipate work to begin next spring with an estimated completion date of February 2022.

For questions about the project, contact MUD at 931-759-4297. The Metro Council will meet again on Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lynchburg Legion Building. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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