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New Waste Storage Tanks in Chattanooga Preventing Sewage Discharges into the Tennessee River

(CHATTANOOGA, TN - October 6, 2022) - The city of Chattanooga announced that its new wet weather equalization station, consisting of three large storage tanks that can hold up to 30 million gallons of wastewater, has effectively prevented untreated wastewater from overflowing into the Tennessee River during heavy rains since it became fully operational in June. Hazen served as the design engineer and provided engineering services during construction and inspection.

"By protecting the river from contamination by tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage that would otherwise be overflowing into it every year, the new facility is helping preserve one of the region’s most important assets, while also satisfying the terms of the city’s consent decree," city officials said in a press briefing.

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Mayor Tim Kelly said, “The Tennessee River is literally and figuratively the essence of our sustainability - the source of our drinking water, our scenic beauty, and our recreation, as well as a major driver of our economic vitality. That’s why this facility is so important for our future. By protecting our river, it will help preserve our future growth and prosperity, ensuring we can attract global talent and provide residents and visitors alike a cleaner, greener, more sustainable city for generations to come.”

The storage tanks are among a number of improvements Chattanooga has constructed in order to end the discharge of untreated sewage into the Tennessee River, said Mark Heinzer, interim director of the Moccasin Bend Environmental Campus.

“On Aug. 10 of this year, when Chattanooga was hit with a 10-year rain event that flooded streets, parking lots, and buildings, one very important thing did not happen - not one gallon of untreated wastewater overflowed into the Tennessee River, thanks to the city’s new wet weather equalization station," he added.

"Instead, 18 million gallons of wastewater and rainwater overflow was pumped into tanks and later slowly released into our treatment plant for purification. This represents a huge step forward in our work to preserve our outdoor resources and create a more sustainable future for our city, and I want to thank all of the talented, dedicated partners and teams who helped make it possible, including our Department of Public Works, Jacobs Engineering, Hazen and Sawyer, and Reeves Young Construction.”

Excerpted from