Red Bank, TN
(as of 12-21-21)
Mike Patrick, Executive Director of the Hamilton County Water & Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), provided a verbal presentation to the City of Red Bank Board of Commissioners on Dec. 7, 2021 an update on the status of the Red Bank sewer moratorium. He followed that up with a public Powerpoint presentation on December 20, 2021 (see below).
The current sewer moratorium was placed on Red Bank by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in December 2018. The moratorium prohibits new development (that produces additional sewage inputs) in at least basins 5, 6 and 7 according to Patrick’s statement that night [though the map he provided (see below) shows basin 8 to also be in the pink moratorium area]. Red Bank Central Park is in basin 6.
The current sewage system is receiving about 4.5 M gallons of inputs, far above its capacity due to design and age. Much of that excess flow is from exterior storm water leakage into the pipes. WWTA hopes to reduce total sewage flow in the moratorium area by 2 M gallons (44%) by repairing or replacing the old leaky pipes. The entire project will take about 9 months to complete.
WWTA and the City of Red Bank did a small repair project a couple years earlier (roughly late 2019) in Basin 6 (in which the Park is located). Following completion of the small project, WWTA applied to TDEC for moratorium relief in Basin 6. There has not yet been any relief resulting from that small project, because TDEC is requiring a longer period of flow monitoring. That small project and its anticipated prompt relief closely preceded the City’s September 2020 issuance of the public Request for Proposals, a hasty attempt to sell the old middle school property to private developers.
WWTA now is seeking funding for the entire $10M Red Bank project. If WWTA can get American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds allocated to this project, work may begin as soon as summer 2022. If the agency must find funds elsewhere, work will be delayed indefinitely.
The project mostly will consist of lining the inside of pipes, but some digging and replacement will be required.
Best case schedule: Work begins in summer 2022, and completes in spring 2023. Following completion of the work, monitoring of the improved flows likely will be required for months afterward.
Worst case schedule: Work begins no sooner than fall 2022, and completes no sooner than summer 2023, possibly much later, with potential moratorium relief unlikely until roughly 2024.
Contingent Bottom lines:
1. No new sewage-increasing developments can begin in basins 5,6 and 7 (and maybe 8) until after the project is completed, and after sewer flow improvements are monitored and approved by TDEC (which could take many more months following project completion).
2. The possibility of residential/commercial development at 3715 Dayton Blvd is prohibited until at least late 2023.
1. If TDEC provides moratorium relief sooner than expected in Basin 6 based on the small 2019 project, a path may be cleared to fast-track a private selloff and residential/commercial development of the Park.
2. If one of the Red Bank Commissioners succeeds in 2022 in her publicly stated wishes for a quick vote of the Board to commit the City on whether to sell the land or keep it as a park, then the fate of the old middle school property could be pre-determined by the Board, without further public input.