The Marshall County Post

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Is Lewisburg Water stopping the growth of Lewisburg

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 3:00 pm

Currently the state regulating agency TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) has a mandated limit on how much water we can withdraw from the Duck River. We are allowed a maximum of 4.0 million gallons per day.  In 2023 there were 65 days that we went over 90% of our 4.0 MGD limit.  There were 6 days that we went over the 4.0 MGD limit, technically breaking state law. We have asked TDEC to allow us to increase that to 6.0 million gallons per day.  They are rewriting the permits for every city on the Duck River and have told us we MAY get as much as 4.6 million gallons a day.  This will not be enough for growth.

We are also limited by our water plant maximum capacity which is 4.0 million gallons a day. We were proactive in authorizing our engineering firm to begin the design of a new larger water plant a year ago, but without approval from the state, we cannot begin to borrow the estimated 25 million dollars to build the larger plant.  Who would loan us the money when we don’t have permission from the government to withdraw the water? If we get approval of the plant and an increased permit for more water, it will likely take over two years for us to secure financing and build the new water plant.

In the meantime, we now have 1,476 single-family and townhomes already approved to be built. The locations are Yell Road, Highway 50, and Franklin Pike.  Developers are asking for approval for another 1,000 plus homes. We have placed a moratorium on these. No new project of 5 houses or more may begin the approval process until July 1, 2024. This will allow us time to study the effect of large subdivisions on our capacity issues.

Our main concern at Lewisburg Water is that more houses are being approved to be built than our current water system can provide. It will take time to upgrade the water system to provide more water.

Trigg Cathey, P.E.

General Manager

Lewisburg Water and Wastewater

Lewisburg, TN