The conveyance and treatment of wastewater is essential to human health and the environment. The wastewater collection system serving the Town of Signal Mountain unfortunately is in need of significant repair. The Signal Mountain sewer system experiences an extreme amount of Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) and storm water into the sewer lines. I&I takes up capacity and causes Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO), resulting in numerous violations of the Clean Water Act and potential public health issues.
The Signal Mountain system represents only 8.2% of the total WWTA system, however, the system represented 71% of all SSOs that occurred in the total WWTA wastewater system in 2022. When SSOs occur, human waste, tissue paper, and other undesirable items normally traveling through the wastewater system are discharged directly into Shoal Creek. In addition, the treatment plant at the bottom of the mountain experiences numerous treatment violations due to excessive flow from the collection system. This is unacceptable from both a regulatory and public health standpoint. The majority of sewer infrastructure problems on Signal Mountain stem from the placement of the underground sewer pipes. Most of the sewer pipes were installed before the 1970’s and were positioned in ravines and near creek beds. The location of the lines make finding and repairing sources of I&I challenging. To repair sewer lines in their current location would require significant clearing of vegetation and have an adverse impact to the environment. We are planning long-term solutions to address sewer maintenance issues in portions of Signal
As part of the planning for long-term solutions to address sewer maintenance issues in portions of Signal Mountain, Jacobs Engineering will begin surveying services for the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA). Planning and mapping for these planned improvements will be done on Druid Drive, Green Gorge Road and Timberlinks areas for the next two weeks. Survey crews will be in the right-of-way and will not access your property. Our field measurements will start soon and to gather information from both sides of the boundary, field crews may perform a search along your boundary lines to identify boundary markers. If markers are found, measurements will be taken from them to determine common boundary lines between properties.
When doing the survey, Jacobs Engineering will attempt to notify occupants. If Jacobs needs to access your property, it generally will be along or close to the property lines. Wooden stakes and nails will be used to temporarily mark survey points. These markers are randomly set and are not the actual property corner or property line markers. Investigations will be conducted in your area over the next few weeks. These investigations identify soil types and subsurface conditions in and around the project area. The soil information gathered during this work will help inform the area's design options for sewer maintenance and upgrades. Geotechnical crews will work weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. A few days before geotechnical boring, crews will identify the location of existing utilities and mark locations on the ground with paint or markers. Crews will drill holes 6 inches wide and up to 40 feet deep to collect soil and subsurface samples. Equipment will sound similar to a truck engine running with brief periods of hammering.
Prior to departure, crews will fill the hole with chips and replace any grass or cement patches removed during the work. Geotechnical work will be conducted at a limited number of public locations and right-of-ways. Owners and tenants on private properties identified for needed geotechnical investigations will receive a letter to notify them about upcoming work.
We are looking forward to working with our community partners to provide additional information on our action plan and timetables. Please submit your comments here.
Click this link to view the WWTA's presentation to the Signal Mountain Planning Commission on July 13, 2023.
Released July 21, 2023: The Hamilton County WWTA To Address 50-Year-Old Sanitary Sewer Problems On Signal Mountain: Multi-Phased Project To Include Installing Pump Stations - Click here for press release.
Click this link to view the WWTA's presentation to the Signal Mountain Town Council on July 24, 2023.
Click this link to view the board presentations from the August 7, 2023 community meeting.
Post letter to homeowners following the community meeting held on August 7th.
Update letter to Signal Mountain residents regarding wastewater projects - October 17, 2023.
Visit our Signal Mountain community Q&A page regarding the project.
Click here to access the latest FAQ's regarding this project.
Follow this link to submit your questions and concerns regarding this project
Follow this link for more information on grinder pump and low-pressure conversions.