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Solution sought for FHS stadium sewer woes

Farragut High School’s football stadium restrooms remain in need of repair, but FHS seems to be getting help.

The football stadium restrooms on the home side have historically had a problem handling the flow generated at halftime during home football games.

The toilets, especially those in the women’s restroom, often back up and overflow. FHS principal Michael Reynolds has attempted to locate the problem, but as of the beginning of August, had no copies of the original plans for the sewer line or any idea where the main tie-in was located.

Now, both of those problems have been resolved.

“With the coverage [farragutpress, page 1 story, Aug. 7 issue] some people came forward … and actually the [town] of Farragut had the original plans. Bud [McKelvey, Town public works director] brought them up here, which is fantastic,” Reynolds said.

“That gives us something to work with in trying to find a solution to the problem … I will turn them over and seek the advice of our maintenance department if there’s anything that can be done now,” he added.

In addition to the original plans, Reynolds and officials from First Utility District have discovered the tie-in to the main sewer line.

It was not, as Reynolds expected, located along Kingston Pike, but along Lendon Welch Way.

“There is a four-inch pipe that leads from the facility into a six-inch pipe that goes to a manhole that feeds into, I think it’s First Utility’s line that becomes an eight-inch pipe,” Reynolds said.

Wayne Watson, spokesman for FUD, said, “The line runs out of the stadium east and toward that connecter road [Lendon Welch Way] that runs up to the high school. It actually connects there between the softball field and the baseball stadium.”

First Utility “had gone down and checked with them; showed them the location of where they tie in to the sewer main, and checked our system in that area, and don’t think we have any problems.

“We think their lines are just inadequate for when they’ve got all those crowds there,” Watson added.

The gravity sewer line runs mostly horizontally to the tie-in.

“There’s not a lot of slope to that line and it probably just runs slow in the line,” Watson said.

Watson said FHS staff had never called First Utility to report any problems.

“So we were kind of checking things out,” Watson said of FUD’s visit to the stadium to locate the tie-in. According to Watson, FUD came out Friday, Aug. 1 or Monday, Aug. 4.

“We showed the County people where it tied in at. It’s probably just a flat line, and probably too small,” he said.

Watson, referring to Reynolds’s comment that the line had been scoped and no problems had been revealed, said any camera scoping FHS had done over the years should have revealed the location of the tie-in and the condition of the sewer line.

“That’s what scoping means to us,” Watson said of the camera on each scope.

“Then you know everything: you know the size, you know the condition, you know where it connects to. I just wonder if they’ve really done that.

“I wonder if we ought to go down there and offer to T-V that line for them,” he added.

First Utility District and Knox County Maintenance scoped the line the week of Aug. 11 and found no obstruction or damage.

“Presently, there are no obstructions we know of … the problem could be a restriction somewhere underneath the existing facilities, but the main lines look clean,” Reynolds said.

Watson said any renovation or replacement of the current line would be “a huge project.”

“It would be a lot of digging. It wouldn’t be something easily done … you’re digging through roads, you’re digging through driveways, you’re just making a terrible mess and it’s expensive.

“It won’t be easy to put a better system in there,” he added.

To get a steeper line, FHS might have to “dig through their football field and through the baseball field to get that down-hill slope to that line. It’s real steep there, between the stadium and the field, and it would be difficult to run a sewer line straight downhill,” Watson said.

Currently, Knox County Board of Education does not plan to renovate Farragut High’s stadium restrooms or sewer lines. Instead, they will place a yet unspecified number of portable toilets at FHS during home football games to handle the additional flow.


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