WWTA debates what’s next after wastewater plant rejected

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – County officials determined as early as 1970 that a second sewage treatment plant would eventually be needed in the northern part of the county.

The first effort by the Waste Water treatment authority to get that plant, failed yesterday at the county commission meeting.

But, it’s likely that plant will end up nearby anyway.

This parcel of land was the proposed location of a small sewage treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road.

Understandably, people who have invested in homes nearby fought hard against the idea….and so far, have succeeded in keeping it literally out of their back yard. But it’s still the best site.

Mayor Coppinger says “There’s 22-thousand acres that drain right to that location by gravity..so there’s going to have to be something in that vacinity.. a storage tank and a pump station ..uh..that pumps it to where ever the sewage treatment plant will be.”

After Wednesday’s 6-3 County Commission vote to stop the program, the Waste Water Treatment Authority held its monthly meeting this afternoon.

We asked Executive Director Mark Harrison what the next steps might be.

“The next step of course is to meet with the EPA. We’ve got a meeting with them the end of January, down in Atlanta, and they’ll be curious, what we propose, and of course, I’ll be curious to see what they believe our options are.”

There have been so many sanitary sewer over flows in that north side community that a moratorium has been imposed on building. The sewer system can’t handle any more homes.

And, its likely to cost a lot more money..where ever it goes.

Mayor Coppinger: “anywhere, including the land fill…that the sewage treatment plant..uh..where ever its final destination is…where ever its actually built..any place other than where we’re building it is going to cost between 18 and 21 million additional dollars.”

Harrison: “If the county were able to fund one of the alternative sites, you know basically provide the extra sixteen to twenty million dollars needed to move the waste water treatment plant further to the north or to the west, then we would need that same location to build a pump station, and ultimately a storage tank.”

Harrison says he plans to ask commissioners Bankston and Geter, whose districts border the area in question, to select two or three sites they could recommend for storage tanks.

“there’s gonna be…has to be a plant in that area to address you know the needs for you know, again, the safety and the environment of the people that live in that area.”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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