WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 49

We did what they said
couldn't be done...
The final checkout and authorization by
TDEC to begin producing water came on
November 16, and potable production began
at approximately 11:30 p.m. that night. With
the help of so many Tennessee volunteers, a
500,000 gallon per day treatment plant was
designed, permitted, procured, constructed
and commissioned in just under three weeks.
It wasn't the prettiest or the easiest plant
to run, but it functioned well and produced
potable water.

And then it rained
On Monday, November 28, weather
forecasts indicated strong winds and heavy
rains over the next several days. At that time,
two of Taft's three intakes were above the
water, and there was only approximately a
foot of water left above the lowest intake.
Whatever debris had clogged one of the raw
water pumps had partially cleared, and one of
their pumps was nearly back to capacity. The
Pikeville WTP was getting by and was able
to keep BCCX supplied with water primarily
because of a farmer who had volunteered to
use his irrigation equipment to pump about 300

GPM from the Sequatchie River to the treatment
plant. To say things were held together with a
wing and prayer would be an understatement.
Over the next two days, it rained between
four and five inches at Fall Creek Falls State
Park and throughout Bledsoe County. Winds
immediately preceding these rains averaged
40 miles per hour, with gusts clocked at over
70 miles per hour. This would prove to be one
of the largest reported contributors to the rapid
progression of the wildfires in the nearby Smoky
Mountains surrounding Gatlinburg.
On December 1, TDEC convened a
meeting of all interested parties to discuss
regional water supply alternatives to prevent
future water shortages during droughts in the
future. The meeting was scheduled several
weeks in advance of the rains, but as Deputy
Commissioner Brock Hill indicated, "It's tough
to talk about drought when you just got five
inches of rain, isn't it?"
Over the next week, the Bee Creek
Reservoir and groundwater levels in Pikeville
replenished to nearly normal levels. While the
National Weather Service still officially stated
that the area was experiencing severe drought,
the water supply emergency for FCFSP,
FCFUD and BCCX appeared to be over, at least

R

for the moment. Over the subsequent weeks,
rain continued to fall throughout the holidays. All
parties agreed to decommission the emergency
water treatment plant immediately after the
first of the year and send the equipment back to
their manufacturers.

Was it worth it?
You can only make the best decision based on
the information you have at any given moment.
We all made the best calls that we could with the
data we had at the time. The Pikeville WTP was
essentially out of water. The Bee Creek Reservoir
was lower than anyone had ever seen before,
and the raw water pumps were at 1/3 of capacity.
Multiple weather agencies believed the drought
would continue until spring because of La Nina.
Based on this information and our expeditious
evaluation of available alternatives, producing water
at FCFSP was the most reasonable and economical
solution to the impending water supply crisis.
In hindsight, TDEC officials commented,
"We now know that we can do this if the
need ever arises again. This effort was not
wasted." While we agree with the sentiment,
the recommendation to all who read this is to
prepare for the next drought while it's still raining.
An ounce of prevention... ●

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WATERPRO 2017
49
13/06/16 11:56 pm


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WaterPro Magazine - 2017

Rural Water Systems Flourishing with Support of USDA
NRWA's Regulatory Committee
Associational Opportunity
The Success of the Revolving Loan
Tennessee’s Volunteers Establish Emergency Water Treatment Plant in Under Three Weeks
WaterPro Apprenticeship Advances
NRWA Products and Services
From the President
From the Deputy CEO
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Intro
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover1
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover2
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 3
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 4
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 5
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 6
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 7
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 8
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 9
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 10
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - From the President
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 12
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - From the Deputy CEO
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 14
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 15
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 16
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Rural Water Systems Flourishing with Support of USDA
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 18
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 19
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 20
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 21
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - NRWA's Regulatory Committee
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 23
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 24
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 25
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 26
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 27
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 28
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 29
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 30
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 31
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 32
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 33
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 34
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Associational Opportunity
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 36
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 37
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 38
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 39
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 40
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 41
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 42
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - The Success of the Revolving Loan
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 44
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 45
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Tennessee’s Volunteers Establish Emergency Water Treatment Plant in Under Three Weeks
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 47
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 48
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 49
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 50
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - WaterPro Apprenticeship Advances
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 52
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 53
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - NRWA Products and Services
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 55
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 56
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 58
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover3
WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - cover4
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