CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – The City of Chattanooga announced Tuesday that an agreement was reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Tennessee, and the Tennessee Clean Water Network on a multi-year program to significantly minimize, and eliminate where possible, sanitary sewer overflows and improve the operation of the city's sewer system.  

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of EPA and the lawsuit filed by the TCWN on October 13, 2010, which alleged similar violations.

"We have worked closely with our partners at the federal, state and local levels to develop a comprehensive plan that will augment our existing efforts to identify and repair problem areas within our system," said Chattanooga's Mayor Ron Littlefield.  "This program will enhance our ability to provide sewer services to the Region and augment our ongoing efforts to protect and improve water quality."

Moronically built in the 1890's, Chattanooga sewer system has evolved as the area has grown. The city has invested in incremental upgrades throughout the years.

Highlights of the comprehensive $250 million plan include:

- Conduct an audit of the City's Capacity, Management, Operations & Maintenance program
- Continue to perform comprehensive sewer surveys in five priority sewer basins in the first five years (phase I) and 24 basins in the remaining ten years (phase II)
- Complete a series of early action capital projects in the first five years designed to address inflow and infiltration and other capacity related issues in the sewer system and improve efficiencies at the Moccasin Bend Waste Water Treatment Plant
- Complete an assessment and develop, if necessary, a rehabilitation plan for the East Bank and West Bank outfalls;
- Complete an update to the City's Long-Term CSO Control Plan, including developing an additional operational control plan for the Chattanooga Creek combined sewer overflow treatment facilities outfalls and conduct post-construction compliance monitoring for the CSOTFs that discharge to Chattanooga Creek
- Develop a green infrastructure plan
- Increase public notification about sanitary sewer overflows, including through the City's web site and
- Reduce basement backups and develop an enhanced emergency response plan to better handle backups


See more tonight on WRCB-TV.