FPU, TDEC celebrate wastewater moratorium lifting

After Fayetteville Public Utilities’ completed upgrades and resolved issues with its wastewater system, the full lifting of the sewer construction moratorium was celebrated in a special ceremony marked by a visit from Commissioner Bob Martineau of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Senator Jim Tracy, Representative Pat Marsh, and Dr. Sandra Dudley, TDEC’s Director of Water Resources. The six-year moratorium previously placed a halt on new sewer service connections inside the city of Fayetteville.

The full moratorium lifting is due to major improvements made by FPU to the wastewater treatment plant and collection system, in addition to the city’s ability to meet the requirements of an Agreed Order issued in January 2006.

“Britt Dye with Fayetteville Public Utilities, local officials, and the entire community should be commended for their hard work in proactively addressing the city’s wastewater challenges, while further positioning their community for long-term economic growth,” Bob Martineau, TDEC Commissioner said. “These upgraded infrastructure efforts will help protect Fayetteville’s water quality, natural resources and serve as a boost to its economy.”

The January 2006 order detailed ongoing issues with excessive inflow and infiltration in sewer lines that caused numerous sewer overflows. To address these issues, FPU and the city of Fayetteville met the following requirements and initiated infrastructure improvements including:

• Implemented a Sewer Overflow Response Plans and Corrective Action Plans

• Initiated a Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance Program

• Rehabilitated the Laten Bottom and Tanyard Branch sewer systems

• Conducted a number of studies, including those addressing biosolids and process improvements

• Completed numerous wastewater treatment plant improvements, including installation of new influent pump station and screen and replacement of aerators and hydraulics

“Since the issuance of the Agreed Order, Fayetteville Public Utilities has made a good faith effort to achieve compliance and has made incredible strides to improve the community’s wastewater treatment and sewer connections,” added Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager. “FPU remains committed to making continued improvements, and we appreciate the support we’ve received from our local elected officials, state partners and the community.”

Other officials present at the ceremony included Karen Stevenson, TDEC Regional Director of External Affairs (Columbia), David Owenby, TDEC Chief of Staff, Ryan Swindell, TDEC Legislative Liaison, FPU Board Members Micky Lawson, Linda Schoenrock, Janine Wilson, Marty Pepper and Glenn Oldham, and several FPU employees who have been directly involved with system rehabilitation.

“What impresses me even more about the whole program that you’ve undertaken here is that you’ve taken a whole-istic look at your system and haven’t just limited yourself to what was necessary to comply with the order,” says Dr. Sandra Dudley, TDEC’s Director of Water Resources. “You’ve made system improvements that invest in the long-term life of your system and protect the economic and other resources of your infrastructure.”

“The moratorium lifting has exponentially enhanced the opportunity for growth and industry,” said Dr. Janine Wilson, chairman of FPU’s board. “That’s so important to our community.”

“The employees do a fantastic job,” said Dye. “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are. They go out in the rain and check manholes and check for flow and infiltration of our sewer system. They also keep our system in check by smoke testing our sewer lines and continue our flow monitoring.”

Dye also thanked the FPU board of directors for their aggressive approach in tackling the moratorium issue.

Photo cutlines: In the photo at top is TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau at the podium. Next, FPU's CEO and General Manager Britt Dye addresses the group at the moratorium lifting ceremony. Below are those in attendance at the moratorium lifting ceremony. They include Senator Jim Tracy, Representative Pat Marsh, Dr. Sandra Dudley, Commissioner Bob Martineau, FPU CEO Britt Dye, FPU Board Chairman Janine Wilson and Board Members Marty Pepper, Glenn Oldham, Linda Schoenrock and Micky Lawson. (Also attending the ceremony were several FPU employees who work with the Wastewater Treatment Plant and maintenance crew.)