The rehabilitation of the Smithville Water Treatment plant is finished.
Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson and Mayor Taft Hendrixson made the announcement Monday night during the city council meeting.
With completion of the makeover, city officials say the water plant is now a much more state of the art facility which will continue to provide its customers with a clean, safe, reliable water supply for many years to come. Mayor Hendrixson said an open house will be scheduled soon.
Work began in August, 2010 by the W&O Construction Company of Livingston, who was awarded the construction bid in February 2010 by the board of aldermen at a cost of $2,542,000. The city was awarded a $500,000 community development block grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help fund the project. But the bulk of the funding, $2,342,000 was appropriated from the city's water and sewer fund surplus. The city has spent a total of $2,610,000 on the project, including grant funds, according to Hunter Hendrixson.
The project at the water plant included the installation of new high service pumps; new electrical breaker boxes, new storage tanks, new automated water filter control panel, new chlorinator, new liquid fluoride feeder system, the addition of a new standby generator, among many other renovations and improvements.
Mayor Hendrixson said the city did not have to borrow the money because there were sufficient funds in the city's water and sewer fund reserves to support the project.
The water treatment plant was originally constructed in 1966. The last major update to the facility was in 1978 when work was done at both the plant and the pumps at the intake on the lake.
The aldermen Monday night approved on first reading, an ordinance to update the city's cross connection regulations.
What is cross connection? Simply put, cross connection occurs when contaminated water gains entrance to and pollutes a safe water supply. Through the careful monitoring of the City water supply system and the installation of backflow prevention assemblies, the risk of cross connection can dramatically be reduced.
A backflow prevention assembly prevents potentially dangerous substances or contaminated water from entering the public water supply. This assembly consists of a valve that allows water to enter a building but prevents the water from returning to the supply line. Cross connection contamination usually occurs if there is a loss of pressure in the water supply system. The loss of pressure can create a siphonage situation that will actually pull the water from a building back into the system.
The State Division of Water Quality requires that all public water systems maintain an active program to identify and control cross connections. This ordinance is the basis for the City's program. Everyone that installs or repairs these assemblies is required to be certified by the State of Tennessee.
Mayor Hendrixson said the city has someone certified to deal with cross connection and backflow prevention installation and repair.
The objectives of the ordinance are to:
"Protect the public potable water system from the possibility of contamination or pollution by isolating within the customer's internal distribution system, such contaminants or pollutants that could backflow or backsiphon into the public water system;
To promote the elimination or control of existing cross connections, actual or potential between the customer's in house potable water system and non-potable water systems, plumbing fixtures and industrial piping systems;
To provide for the maintaintence of a continuing program of cross connection control that will systematically and effectively prevent the contamination or pollution of all potable water systems."
Second and final reading will be held following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.
In other business, the aldermen voted to hire Shawn Thomas full time at the water treatment plant. He has completed his 60 day probationary period.
First reading action was postponed on proposed ordinance #438 until the February 20 meeting. This is an ordinance amending the City of Smithville's zoning ordinance in the B-3 (downtown business) district allowing the conversion of commercial buildings to residential dwellings