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Lewisburg Water Moratorium Extended

Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 4:00 pm

In a special called meeting on June 27, 2024, the Lewisburg Water board met and extended indefinitely the moratorium for housing developments.  We still have not been given any additional water from TDEC.

Our 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. They are rewriting the permits for every city on the Duck River. For seven years we have been asking them to raise our limit to 6.0 million gallons a day. There are environmental groups challenging the increase, saying it will impact the wildlife on the river, specifically the mussels.  We met with the governor on June 17, 2024, and he is keenly aware that without more water, Lewisburg and Shelbyville cannot grow.

We are also limited by our water plant maximum capacity which is 4.0 million gallons a day. For over a year now, our engineering firm has been designing a new and larger water plant, but without approval from the state, we cannot borrow the estimated 25 million dollars to build the larger plant. We cannot get financing until we have permission from the government to withdraw more water. If we get an increased limit and approval to build the plant, it will take at least two years for us to secure the bonds and build the new water plant.

The modified moratorium says, “No new housing developments of four houses or more will be approved and each owner/developer may only build 3 new houses every 6 months- (six houses per year.)”

We are now asking water customers to voluntarily conserve water during drought conditions.  When we go two or three weeks without rain, we must run the water plant around the clock. There is plenty of water in Normandy Lake and Duck River, but our water plant has trouble producing enough for the watering of gardens and lawns. We are not asking customers to let their rose bushes die. We are asking customers to be smart with water and postpone their pressure washing projects until it starts to rain again. We hate to see irrigation sprinklers running water out on the ground during a rainstorm because the customer has it set on a timer. Sprinklers spraying water into the paved road in front of their house doesn’t indicate that they are using water wisely.

Thank you for helping us by conserving water.

Trigg Cathey

Lewisburg Water General Manager