Sewer makeover continues in Athens - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sewer makeover continues in Athens

Posted: Updated:

ATHENS, TN (WRCB) -- "When you flush your commode, you want it [the waste] to go away," says Wayne Scarbrough, Assistant General Manager at Athens Utility Board.
 
That's why the company decided a decade ago to start the process of overhauling the city's sewer system at a price tag of 25 million dollars. "The biggest part of that being about $18 million rebuilding the Oostanaula Plant to make it a much higher capacity," explains Scarbrough.

This increases it from two million gallons a day to six million, along with bigger pipes that will last longer.

The current leg of the project started about two years ago at exit 52 off Interstate 75, making its way closer to town and by last week ending up at Veterans Memorial Park.

The main concern is preventing waste water from spilling into Oostanaula Creek which flows through the park. "Where actually you were putting water back into the creek that you didn't have a chance to treat," says Scarbrough.

The bypasses causing this environmental concern can now be eliminated due to the higher capacity of the plant.

A combination of city, county, and federal funds pay much of the bill but a good chunk comes from operating revenues. So rates had to go up.  "We had to raise our monthly customer availability fee that cover the fixed costs of the system and also the per gallon treatment charge," explains Scarbrough.

He says the public is behind this and most, like Tracy Carroll, are willing to pay a bit more to prevent problems down the pike. Carroll takes frequent walks in Veterans Park with her seven year old child.

"If it's going to help our environment, especially with the creek running through the park, yeah. I do," says Carroll.

There's also been virtually no red tape to stifle the progress. Something for which Scarbrough is very thankful. "We have a very proactive board of directors," he states.

For safety reasons Veterans Memorial Park will remain closed for a few more weeks until the work there is done. By this time next year Scarbrough hopes the next major section of the system--from the park to the treatment plant--will be replaced.
 
The rest of the decades-long project, which is mainly the smaller Mouse Creek basin, should be done in around two years.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery

    Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:18:16 GMT
     A small bakery in Georgia is getting big support from the community.  The bakery is also getting noticed for what it's doing that is unlike anywhere else and a hint is in the name.

    More
     A small bakery in Georgia is getting big support from the community.  The bakery is also getting noticed for what it's doing that is unlike anywhere else and a hint is in the name.


    More
  • Crews called out to save swimmer in Catoosa Co.

    Crews called out to save swimmer in Catoosa Co.

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:17 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:17:14 GMT
    First responders are on the scene of a rescue operation in Catoosa County.More
    First responders are on the scene of a rescue operation in Catoosa County.More
  • UT rolls out new sex assault policy

    UT rolls out new sex assault policy

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:02 AM EDT2014-09-02 08:02:36 GMT
    Among the things that do not signal someone is consenting to sex, according to the University of Tennessee is his or her reputation or attire, the acceptance of gifts, previous consent or current dating relationship.More
    Among the things that do not signal someone is consenting to sex, according to the University of Tennessee is his or her reputation or attire, the acceptance of gifts, previous consent or current dating relationship.More
  • Most Popular on WRCBtv.comMost Popular on WRCBtv.comMore>>

  • Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery

    Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:18:16 GMT
     A small bakery in Georgia is getting big support from the community.  The bakery is also getting noticed for what it's doing that is unlike anywhere else and a hint is in the name.

    More
     A small bakery in Georgia is getting big support from the community.  The bakery is also getting noticed for what it's doing that is unlike anywhere else and a hint is in the name.


    More
  • Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

    Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:50:53 GMT
    McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry's workers.More
    McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry's workers.More
  • Vols' "3rd Down for What" is a hit inside Neyland Stadium

    Vols' "3rd Down for What" is a hit inside Neyland Stadium

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:00:16 GMT
    Sports - Tennessee VolsSports - Tennessee Vols
    If General Neyland were around today it's safe to say Lil Jon and "Turn Down for What" wouldn't be on his iPod, but you have to wonder if he'd be bobbing his head to the remix inside the stadium named after him. More
    If General Neyland were around today it's safe to say Lil Jon and "Turn Down for What" wouldn't be on his iPod, but you have to wonder if he'd be bobbing his head to the remix inside the stadium named after him. More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.