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FUD ponders rate hike

First Utility District customers have been put on notice regarding water and sewer: you may be required to repair or replace your service sewer line, while high volume water users may soon face rate hikes.

Wayne Watson, FUD general manager, told Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners, “We may be requiring some customers to replace or repair their sewer lines in the future. We’ve got to do everything we can to prevent rainwater from getting into these sewer lines.”

Watson, who along with FUD director of engineering and construction Troy A. Wedekind, appeared before FMPC during its monthly meeting Thursday, Nov. 16, in Town Hall. A lot of water can come into customers’ lines. … We’ve not addressed that issue yet, but we’re starting to look at that, Watson said.

“We can rehabilitate all of our sewer lines,

and the customers’ lines can still cause lots of


Wedekind added, “We’ve got a sizable investment in revamping these [lines], but we can only go so far. We’re not responsible for lines from the main to the house.”

Watson said this year alone FUD has rehabilitated 10 miles of sewer pipe with inverta-pipe, a flexible fabric liner inserted at manhole locations — no digging required — costing about $2 millions. The liner will also bridge missing pipe sections.

“People didn’t used to care if a lot of rainwater got into the sewer system,” Watson said.

Wedekind said inverta-pipe for smaller service lines into homes (six-inch diameter) has been available for “two or three years,” though adding most area service lines are four-inch


Watson added inverta-pipe service line repair couldn’t be done “manhole-to-manhole.”

Citing “irrigation” as a water problem due to drought, Watson said, “We’re probably going to be looking at ways to control irrigation through increasing rates on high volumes of water. That looks like the best way for us to go.

“In the winter we averaged about 8 million gallons a day of water that we sell, we feel like that’s normal indoor usage. This past August, we had peak days of 22 million gallons per day that we were selling,” he added. “That puts a tremendous strain on our system, even though we had that 34 million gallon a day plant.”

With FUD’s water treatment expansion recently completed, the plant now increases capacity from 21 million gallons per day to 34 million per day for its approximately 31,000 customers.

Meanwhile, “We’re going to have to do some major distribution line work within the town,” Watson said.

Watson and Wedekind presented a “preliminary drawing” on how FUD plans to streamline water and sewer main lines, to help curb overflows, off Campbell Station Road near Village Green and points south and east ending southbound near the corner of Kingston Pike at Phillips 66 convenience store. Volume and capacity of the line, Watson said, is hampered by sharp degree bends in old lines.

A sizable portion of Village Green subdivision, “being one of our older sewer areas,” is next in line for fabric liner seal repair, Watson said.


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