- RPA Suggests 30 Day Deferral for Special Permit for Proposed Treatment Plant
- Regional Planning Agency's Q & A Regarding Proposed North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Frequently Asked Questions & North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant Presentation
- North Ooltewah Treatment Facility Community Meetings
- Proposed North Hamilton County Wastewater Treatment Plant Vote
CHATTANOOGA-HAMILTON COUNTY RPA SUGGESTS 30 DAY DEFERRAL; WWTA OFFERS AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS TO PROVIDE FOR MORE COMMUNITY INPUT
Public Meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 8th has been Cancelled.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (November 6, 2018)--- Regional Planning Agency (RPA) staff released their recommendations earlier today regarding the WWTA’s application for a special permit to allow them to move forward with a wastewater treatment plant at 7800 Mahan Gap Road.
RPA staff asked for a 30-day deferral on the project. The agency noted that the WWTA has provided answers to all of their questions; however, the RPA wants to understand the unique proposal. The RPA provided additional follow-up questions.
The WWTA expressed appreciation for the thorough attention. The WWTA noted their willingness to provide an additional 30 days to the deferral period to allow even more time for consideration of the proposed project if desired by the RPA. During this time, the WWTA will meet with individual homeowners near the proposed site to answer their individual concerns and provide answers to their questions.
Because of this, the public meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, November 8, 2018, has been cancelled.
The WWTA also intends to continue meeting with leaders from across Hamilton County to make them aware of their plans and address any concerns they may have. Like so many other places across the country, Hamilton County and the towns that are now part of the WWTA have for many years addressed sewer problems with short term repairs only as they became critical.
This was done to keep rates low for customers and has not provided a strong foundation for the future of the sewer infrastructure, which has led to chronic problems, including equipment failure and overflows. For the past several years, however, WWTA’s leadership has proactively and strategically made repairs and instituted a capacity assurance and maintenance program designed to address not only current issues but also enable affordable growth and economic development that will benefit future generations.
WWTA Executive Director Mark Harrison said, “We know the decisions being considered are difficult; however, we also know that we must make wise investments for our future. We are going to take some additional time to make sure all of Hamilton County knows about our challenges and the work to be done as we prepare for the future. Economic development and the safety of our environment can go hand-in-hand.”
About Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority
The Hamilton County Water Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) is responsible for the public sewer system throughout the unincorporated areas of Hamilton County, Tennessee, and the surrounding municipalities of East Ridge, Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Red Bank, Ridgeside, Signal Mountain, and Soddy Daisy. Our purpose is to protect the environment and public by regulating the quality of water discharged into the wastewater collection system and treatment works. The WWTA regulates the expansion of sewers and ensures compliance with the provisions of the Clean Water act as well as other federal, state, and local laws.
Created in 1993 by the Hamilton County Commission, the WWTA is comprised of over 500 miles of collection lines, 60 pump stations, 900 grinder pumps, two wastewater treatment facilities, and provides services for more than 30,000 customers.
1. Why this site was chosen, or why this site is better suited for the treatment plant and the overall system than the other sites?
- This site was chosen because it allows for gravity flow from the potential 20,000 +/- acre future service area and it is in close proximity to the existing 7,500 +/- acre existing service area. The existing service area has 11 pump stations. The chosen site will allow service to the area with fewer pump stations, which will reduce costs substantially as pump stations are expensive to build and to maintain. The chosen site did not have any environmental or archeological concerns.
- Based on the preliminary evaluation, the other sites have the potential for environmental concerns, archeological concerns, and topography that would necessitate addition pumping stations to accomplish the goal of servicing the existing and future areas.
2. What type of TDEC Permit is the facility, is it a Type I, II, or III permit?
- The permit will be a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and require at least one TDEC-certified Grade 4 Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator to be in responsible charge of the site at all times. The plant will be designed as a Reliability Class I Facility which is the highest class of reliability in Tennessee for a wastewater facility.
3. Describe the components of the odor control system and typical best management practices and how these will be incorporated into the site? We understand from your response that the plant has not been designed; we just need additional information that clarifies or describes how the potential technologies such as carbon filter beds are expected to perform relative to odor management based on industry practice.
- Odor control will be accomplished via physical, chemical, and biological methods. There is not a “one size fits all” for odor control. Odor treatment is generally characterized as whether the odors are treated in the “Vapor-Phase” and “Liquid-Phase” processes. The following are likely methods but the final methods will be a combination of the results of the waste characterization prior to the plant design, the treated water effluent limits established by TDEC, and the actual plant layout.
The following are considered Vapor-Phase methods which are known to be very effective at minimizing or eliminating odors:
- The treatment facilities will be physically enclosed when possible to eliminate fugitive odors.
- Carbon Adsorption, Biofiltration, and/or Wet Air Scrubbing facilities will be either individually located at specific high odor potential components of the treatment works or centrally located with individual air-stream conveyances.
- Liquid-Phase methods will also be employed as necessary at certain pumping facilities upstream of the Plant to reduce incoming odors. The most likely process will be the injection of Calcium Nitrate into the raw wastewater at a pump station or incoming gravity line at a location to be determined.
4. Describe the conservation area and proposed walking trails on the site?
- The conservation area will generally be to the eastern portion of the property from Turtle Lane up to Mahan Gap. The specific location of walking trails has not been determined.
5. Why is the new plant needed? Describe some specific challenges of the system without the new treatment plant, past overflows, etc?
- The WWTA is at the current contractual wastewater flow limit with both the City of Collegedale and the City of Chattanooga. Significant upgrades to the Chattanooga infrastructure will be necessary to accommodate the future projected flow from the Ooltewah and Collegedale service areas that currently enter the Chattanooga Regional System at the same location. The construction of the new plant and subsequent reroute of new and existing flows will provide capacity for WWTA as well as improve capacity downstream in the Regional System.
6. What is the impact on Hamilton County if the new plant is not constructed, particularly as it is related to TDEC compliance?
- In order to maintain compliance with the Clean Water Act as enforced by TDEC and EPA, Ooltewah growth will have to be limited so that the sewer system capacity will be sufficient to avoid overflows and other non-compliance issues. The growth that does occur will have to be serviced via septic tank or decentralized treatment systems.
7. Quantify the current capacity limits, projected growth in new demand, and the current capacity design of the plant?
- The Ooltewah area is currently connected to the Collegedale system and is limited to 2.97 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD). In 2020, most of the Ooltewah system will be connected directly to the Chattanooga Regional System with a limit of 3.29 MGD. The projected need is between 6 and 8 MGD depending on the strength of the local and national economy. The plant will be designed for 10 MGD.
8. Is the permit needed for the entire site, particularly for the southern portion of the site adjacent to Heron Bay Subdivision?
- There will be no Plant construction in the southern portion of the property near the Heron Bay Subdivision.
Join Us At Our Upcoming Community Meetings
Thursday, October 11: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Fire Hall Training Center
9100 Snow Hill Road
Ooltewah, TN 37363
Wednesday, October 17: 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Ooltewah Council Meeting
9454 Bradmore Lane
Ooltewah, TN 37363
2nd Floor above Davis Waynes
Tuesday, October 23: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Central High School
5728 Highway 58
Harrison, TN 37341
*Meeting will take place in Gymnasium
Thursday, November 8: 5:30 – 7 p.m. (CANCELED)
5728 Highway 58
Harrison, TN 37341
*Meeting will take place in Gymnasium
PROPOSED NORTH HAMILTON WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT PROPERTY PURCHASE TO BE VOTED ON BY HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSION:
Once Operational, will Meet Community Needs for Approximately Four Decades
Chattanooga, Tennessee (October 1, 2018)- - - The Hamilton County Commission will consider a financing agreement with the Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) that will allow the agency to purchase a 157-acre parcel located at 7800 Mahan Gap Road to meet future needs. The cost of the property is $2.6 million. Closing costs are anticipated to be no more than $400,000 with a total cost of $3 million to conclude the sale.
The site was among ten considered by the WWTA. The first consideration was at the County’s landfill station; however, the property was dismissed from consideration due to the topography of the site and cost to construct at that location. The site selected by the WWTA has 77 contiguous acres above the 100-year floodplain in two distinct areas and is suitable as a treatment facility. In addition, the size allows for significant buffering to provide a more pleasing aesthetic to the community. The WWTA plans to use less than one-third of the site for the plant with three acres or less in exposed sewer.
This new facility will be much smaller than the City of Chattanooga’s wastewater treatment facility. By comparison, the WWTA treatment facility will be sized to treat less than ten percent of the city’s facility and occupy a much smaller footprint. In addition, there will be a significant investment in odor control and landscaping from the start of the project.
Like cities and counties across the state of Tennessee, Chattanooga and Hamilton County are facing state and federally mandated clean-ups of their sewer facilities to make the environment safer as communities grow. The cost to mitigate the local issue is over $500 million. In Memphis, the cost is $250 million; while in Knoxville the cost is $540 million. The cost jumps to over $1.3 billion in Nashville.
The WWTA plan calls for treated water to go into the Tennessee River near the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. While they are not sure of the exact location, they know that the plant will not be discharging treated water through the tributaries along Savannah Bay and into Harrison Bay.
WWTA Executive Director Mark Harrison said, “Protecting the environment and planning for growth can go hand-in-hand and certainly will for this project. There’s no way we’d ever try to send treated water through areas that might have a negative impact on our valuable creeks and tributaries. We believe that the Tennessee Department of Environment of Conservation wouldn’t approve a plan that will take such a route.”
Harrison noted that citizens have been reaching out to the WWTA since the project came up during last week’s Hamilton County Commission agenda session. “We appreciate the thoughtful comments and concerns we’ve received. We will be posting frequently asked questions on our Facebook page and encourage people to look there for answers.”
In addition, he noted that a public meeting has been scheduled on Thursday, October 11 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Fire Hall Training Center located at 9100 Snow Hill Road in Ooltewah.
Homes in the area that are on septic will not have to connect to the line; however, as septic tanks fail over time, having an option that will serve the most amount of customers for the least amount of money is one that makes sense in the fastest growing area of Hamilton County. Sewer systems are also far more environmentally friendly than septic systems for growing communities.
With approval of the financing plan by the County Commission, the project will then move into zoning for consideration before the plant can be finalized. WWTA Board Chair Mike Moon noted that throughout the process, the WWTA will hold public meetings to keep the public informed and involved. “It’s important for the community to know the challenges we’re facing to keep the environment safe both now and in the future. We appreciate the concerns we’ve heard and will continue to develop a plan that addresses environmental demands as we meet community need.”
About Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority
The Hamilton County Water Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) is responsible for the public sewer system throughout the unincorporated areas of Hamilton County, Tennessee, and the surrounding municipalities of East Ridge, Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Red Bank, Ridgeside, Signal Mountain, and Soddy Daisy. Our purpose is to protect the environment and public by regulating the quality of water discharged through the wastewater collection system and treatment works. The WWTA regulates the expansion of sewers and ensures compliancy with the provisions of the Clean Water act as well as other federal, state, and local laws.
Created in 1993 by the Hamilton County Commission, the WWTA is comprised of over 500 miles of collection lines, 60 pump stations, 900 grinder pumps, two wastewater treatment facilities, and services for more than 30,000 customers.
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- Mayor Jim Coppinger Shares Some News About The Work We Do In The Community.
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- The WWTA Encourages Customers to Reach Out In Times of Need.
The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) will be conducting a PUBLIC MEETING on October 29, 2018 at 6:00 PM, local time, at the Lookout Mountain Town Hall Commission Room, 710 Scenic Hwy, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350 to provide information about WWTA’s application for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan in the amount of $5,474,000.00 to perform sanitary sewer investigation, design and rehabilitation services for sanitary sewer basins located in the Town of Lookout Mountain.
There are two loans for this project, CW7 2019-424 for $3,000,000 which includes $300,000 principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid and SRF 2019-425 for $2,474,000 with no principal forgiveness. The project is called the “Lookout Mountain Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project WWTA 17-316”. The rehabilitation work consists of performing trenchless rehabilitation of approximately 24,000 feet of sewers and rehabilitating 2,100 vertical feet of manholes located throughout portions of Lookout Mountain.
The intent of this public meeting is to describe the investigation and rehabilitation work being performed and how the loan will impact monthly wastewater fees.
Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) will be seeking Statements of Qualifications (SOQ’s) from plumbers to participate in our Private Sewer Lateral Program (PSLP).
Advertisement will be released in the Times Free Press on October 25, 2018.
This is an important program not only for our customers but also for the WWTA. The work done by our Master Plumbers is critical to our mission.
We hope you will submit your qualifications for consideration. Any questions contact us at (423) 209-7842.
Encourages Customers to Reach Out Directly to WWTA in Times of Need
The Hamilton County WWTA has some tips for customers experiencing sewer issues, beginning with the most important: Call us first. The WWTA notes that sometimes customers will reach out to their particular city or municipality regarding sewer issues instead of reaching out for immediate assistance by the WWTA.
WWTA Executive Director Mark Harrison said, “Sewer issues are never fun; however, there’s a way to have those issues addressed in a more efficient and effective manner and that’s by calling us first. If it’s our responsibility, we’ll get the repairs scheduled as quickly as possible, usually within a day of receiving the call. If it’s an issue for another entity, our customer service team will be able to provide the proper office to call along with the number. We’re happy to help those experiencing problems with their sewer service.”
He noted several other helpful pieces of information for customers:
- Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Customers can always contact the WWTA via email at WWTA@HamiltonTN.gov
- For questions with billing, customers may call: 423-209-7808
- The WWTA has a 24-hour hour Pay-By-Phone Line: 1-844-657-2837
- For General Questions regarding permits, sewer availability, etc., customers may call 423-209-7842
- For questions regarding emergency sewer overflows, 423-209-6408
- Grinder Pump and Step System Service Calls are accessed by calling: 423-209-6409
- Still looking for an answer? The WWTA’s website has been updated to make searching easier than ever: wwta.hamiltontn.gov
“Our mission is to provide reliable, courteous and low-cost sewer service within our service area to promote economic development, eliminate health problems and protect the environment. It’s a privilege for us to serve so many in Hamilton County and we want to do all we can to make accessing our services as easy as possible,” said Harrison.