Decherd Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project

Decherd and Franklin County, Tennessee

The city of Decherd and Franklin County are located in southern middle Tennessee along the I-24 southern automotive corridor with three auto assembly plants and three engine plants within a 50-mile radius. Decherd is the junction of major railroad and state highway connections that offer strategic transportation and logistical access for suppliers and distribution of engine products. Since the early 1990’s, Decherd has seen unprecedented development with the location of Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation (NMMC) engine production facilities. This major industrial location has brought new residents and the promise of additional future investment by NMMC, along with the need for major infrastructure investments by the city and county governments.  

In 1993, NMMC began construction of Phase I of the Nissan Decherd powertrain manufacturing facility and opened the plant in May of 1997 with 2,500 employees. In 2014, NMMC began construction of the Phase II Infiniti powertrain manufacturing facility adjacent to the existing plant that is projected to bring an additional $190,970,000 in private investment by the company and create an additional 450 production jobs and 50 administrative jobs. In 2017, Decherd and Franklin County officials began work with NMMC to prepare for Phase III that will include the addition of three 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder production lines and bring an additional 400 jobs to the facility. In 2017, NMMC reported the Decherd plant’s annual production capacity at 1.4 million engines and crankshafts, along with 456,000 cylinder block castings, supplying 17 Nissan and Infinity vehicle models.

As a large employer in the fast-growing automotive sector and an instrumental contributor to economic development in the state and region, it has been imperative that adequate infrastructure be available to accommodate NMMC expansion needs and requirements. Since the first announcement, officials from the community and TNECD have met regularly with NMMC managers to address current and future needs of the manufacturer.

The city of Decherd, Franklin County, TNECD, and multiple state government and federal departments have successfully partnered to invest in necessary infrastructure including site development, access roads and highways, water and wastewater infrastructure and workforce development services to position the town, county and south central region for future economic and community development opportunities. The construction of new and expanded wastewater treatment facilities for the Phase II expansion was one essential part of these strategic investments.

Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure Development

In 2014, community officials began the process to develop plans and identify sources of funding for a new wastewater treatment system to meet current demand and accommodate future capacity requirements. The city of Decherd determined the need to expand their current wastewater treatment plant to a hydraulic treatment capacity of 2.5 million gallons per day to accommodate existing and future wastewater flows.

As future requirements were being determined, the city worked with TNECD and the South Central Tennessee Development District to identify funding sources and develop requests using Community Development Block Grant, TNECD FastTrack, Economic Development Administration, Appalachian Regional Commission, USDA Rural Development, and local government funding sources. This public-private partnership positioned the community to secure funding and begin to make systematic infrastructure improvements in a relatively short timeframe.   

In 2016, design and engineering for the Decherd Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project was finalized with plans and specifications to upgrade existing facilities and equipment and add a plant expansion. This project will increase the capacity of wastewater treatment systems and successfully accommodate the projected increase in wastewater discharge due to Decherd’s rapid growth, annexation and the NMMC’s Phase II expansion.   

Economic Impact

The Nissan Decherd powertrain manufacturing facility is the largest private employer in Franklin County and the South Central Tennessee region. Since 1997, Nissan’s plant has been building reliable, high-quality engines while providing secure and high-paying jobs for residents and supporting community organizations. NMMC Decherd provides engines for all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles built at the company’s vehicle assembly plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi. In 2013, the plant began supplying electric motors to support U.S. production of the all-electric Nissan LEAF. Total 1997-2017 economic impacts include:

20-YEAR INVESTMENT $1,000,000,000
MODELS SUPPLIED 17 (Nissan and Infiniti vehicles)
2017 EMPLOYMENT 2,500
2017 PAYROLL  $63,000,000
2017 COMMUNITY IMPACT $200,000(contributions to local organizations)

Project Funding

Community Development Block Grant  $400,000
Appalachian Regional Commission Grant  $500,000
TNECD FastTrack Infrastructure Development Grant  $500,000
Economic Development Administration Grant  $1,000,000
USDA Rural Development Loan  $5,000,000
City of Decherd and Franklin County Local Match  $3,800,000
TOTAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT FUNDING (Projections for federal and state grant funding, local investments) $11,200,000

Project Leadership and Partners

City of Decherd – City Mayor – Project Contact
Franklin County – County Mayor - Project Contact
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
South Central Tennessee Development District
United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Appalachian Regional Commission
Economic Development Administration
Nissan Motors Manufacturing Corporation

For project contact information visit the City of Decherd website at


TNECD Infrastructure Programs

Adequate infrastructure is a fundamental component of successful economic and community development. TNECD provides leadership and administration for state and federal infrastructure programs directly and also works in conjunction with local and federal partners.

The TNECD Community Development Block Grant program provides grant funding for community and economic development projects including water and sewer system improvements and extensions, owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, health and safety projects, and commercial façade improvements.

The TNECD FastTrack Infrastructure program provides grants to local communities for public infrastructure improvements and must be used for specific infrastructure investments benefitting one or more companies committed to creating new jobs and/or making new capital investments.  

The USDA Rural Development Tennessee Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program in Tennessee provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and stormwater drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for economic development and improved quality of life. Through ARC, Tennessee is able to award grants each year for economic and community development projects in the 52 counties in middle and east Tennessee served by the ARC.

The Economic Development Administration - Public Works program empowers distressed communities to revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies, and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investment.

For more information visit the TNECD Community and Rural Development.