TDEC Announces Additional $34.5 Million in Water Infrastructure Investments

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 | 11:19am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced 12 grants totaling $34,585,121 from the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund, part of which TDEC is administering in the form of water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure grants.

The grants announced today follow the announcement of six grants totaling $37,910,909 from the ARP in August, bringing the total rewarded by TDEC thus far to $72.4 million. The grants announced today include one collaborative grant and 11 non-collaborative grants for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure planning, design, and construction.

Tennessee received $3.725 billion from the ARP, and the state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group dedicated $1.35 billion of those funds to TDEC to support water projects in communities throughout Tennessee. Of the $1.35 billion, approximately $1 billion was designated for non-competitive formula-based grants offered to counties and eligible cities. The remaining funds will go to state-initiated projects and competitive grants.

Grants announced today are for Sumner County, the Town of Farragut, the City of White House, the City of Lewisburg, Rutherford County, Metro Lynchburg Moore County, Germantown, Johnson City, the City of Millington, the City of Loudon, City of Livingston, and the City of Mitchellville.

The list includes a collaborative grant and non-collaborative grants. A collaborative project involves multiple entities such as cities, counties, utility districts or authorities working together on activities with a shared purpose or goal.

“These grants will address important water infrastructure needs across our state, especially in disadvantaged communities,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “We commend communities who have gone through the application process, and we look forward to the substantial improvements the grants will bring.”

“More than ever, infrastructure is critically important to our local communities,” said Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge. “This money will allow cities and towns to address deficiencies and make improvements that will pay dividends not just in the present but in the years to come as well. I greatly appreciate the work of the governor and my colleagues on the Fiscal Accountability Group for their work in making sure these funds were spent appropriately and efficiently.”

“We continue experiencing considerable growth across the state, and many of our communities require additional resources to address their evolving needs,” said Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville. “These grants will play a major role in ensuring cities and towns have access to infrastructure solutions that will enable them to continue thriving so Tennessee remains a preferred destination for both businesses and families.”

“We are grateful to the local applicants, and we anticipate excellent results from these grants,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This shows that Tennessee recognizes the need for improved water infrastructure and is committed to helping communities meet that need.”

Details for each award are:

Collaborative Grant

Sumner County – $6,752,438

The county is collaborating with the City of Portland and City of Westmoreland on a multi-phase regionalization project. Sumner County’s water supply challenges are complex, and are accentuated by severe droughts on record and growth challenges. The partners will address water loss and distribution challenges in Phase 1 with the goal of developing a regional and sustainable solution to improve the water availability to the region. 

Non-Collaborative Grants

Town of Farragut – $1,721,566

The grant will be used to fund a variety of stormwater improvement projects. These projects directly support improvements to stormwater quality and drinking water conservation through best management practices and address multiple critical needs, including developing a Stormwater Infrastructure Plan.

Germantown – $2,601,138

The city plans to focus on water efficiency, conservation, and improved supply management. All residences and businesses within Germantown’s service area will receive updated meters. Germantown is also installing automated meter reading devices and data retrieval systems.

Johnson City – $7,817,569

The city will leverage an existing State Revolving Fund loan with ARP grant dollars to extend the upgrades to its aging and failing wastewater system. This grant will help replace 21,000 linear feet of main collection lines all the way from downtown Johnson City to the treatment plant. Combing ARP and SRF funding sources is allowing Johnson City to make significant wastewater improvements.

The City of Lewisburg – $1,816,744

The city will use the grant funds to address a state-mandated compliance order that is the result of sanitary sewer overflows. Focusing on these overflow issues will improve water quality, help the system regain compliance, and improve existing system capacity challenges.

City of Livingston – $960,607

The funds will be leveraged with a State Revolving Fund loan to complete extensive meter changeouts with automated meter reading equipment throughout Livingston's water system. In addition, the city proposes to install remote zone meters in the rural part of the system. These upgrades will reduce energy consumption, conserve drinking water, and assist in managing real water losses.

The City of Loudon – $1,094,581

The city has a Consent Order and, as part of an on-going effort to regain compliance, will focus on reducing inflow and infiltration to limit chronic overflows. Loudon intends to use trenchless technologies to repair old lines, rehab existing manholes, and service connections to limit customer disturbance and reduce impacts to the environment.

Metro Lynchburg Moore County – $2,509,310

The county will leverage ARP grant funds with a State Revolving Fund loan to make improvements to the wastewater system that will reduce inflow and infiltration. Metro Lynchburg Moore County will also develop a drinking water Asset Management Plan and rehabilitate distribution lines to reduce significant water loss and increase pressure for existing customers.

The City of Millington – $1,782,166

The city will use the ARP grant funds to supplement an existing project to modernize their drinking water system. The city will be drilling a new drinking water well in addition to installing a new main transmission line. These efforts will help support the new drinking water treatment facility as the city decommissions the 70-year-old drinking water plant.

The City of Mitchellville - $576,293

The city will have 76 new sewer pumps installed, allowing for significant upgrades to the failing system. This project will improve wastewater services for every resident in Mitchellville.

Rutherford County – $5,579,064

The county is working with Consolidated Utility District to replace over 37,000 linear feet of aging and failing drinking water lines. This includes replacing failing asbestos lines in certain zones in the county. The utility will be bringing service to an additional 20 households that lack connection as well as improve service for underserved communities in the county.

City of White House – $1,373,645

The city plans to execute a construction project that will make corrections to the wastewater collection system. White House is under enforcement for sanitary sewer overflows and has elected to focus all of its state ARP allocation to fix problems with the collection system.

TDEC is focusing the grants on the following goals:

  • Protect and promote human health and safety and improve the quality of water by supporting water systems in non-compliance to work toward compliance with water quality requirements
  • Improve the technical, managerial, and financial capabilities of small, disadvantaged, or underserved water infrastructure systems; and
  • Address critical water infrastructure needs across the state

TDEC’s strategy for deployment of ARP funds is described in the Water Infrastructure Investment Plan. This plan was developed by TDEC based on input from leaders and experts from agencies internal and external to state government. The plan can be found at this link. Funds from the ARP must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024 and expended by Dec. 31, 2026.