Utility Department busy with big projects

The City of Athens Utility Department has more than 45 projects underway right now. Some are nearing completion while others have just gotten onto the drawing board, but all of them are important to our water and sewer systems.
There are five capital improvement projects that currently lead the list.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan

The City is currently working with the engineering firm Plummer Associates, Inc. to evaluate the existing wastewater plants and create a master plan for the City's wastewater treatment plants over the next 30 years. One of the reasons this is being done is because of the age of the City's current wastewater infrastructure. While the treatment plants have been expanded twice, the original plants are now 61 years old.
The project will evaluate both wastewater treatment facilities to determine if consolidation is feasible and to plan future upgrades.
Work on the master plan is scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2023.
“This project will help us determine budget numbers for the facilities the city needs as it grows,” said Utilities Director Randy Williams. “This information will help us plan capital improvement projects, prepare for grants, and make utility rate decisions.”

North Pinkerton Sewer

Bids will be opened in January of 2023 for this project to upgrade and replace sewer lines along Pinkerton Street from Williams Street to the North Wastewater Treatment Plant. Approximately 4,100 feet of the pipeline will be replaced, upgrading from an 8-inch pipe to a 12-inch pipe.
This project will eliminate a poor-performing sewer main and provide better access.

Edmondson/Massey Sewer

Fieldwork is underway in this design project to assess the performance of sewer pipelines from Massey Street to Edmondson Street. Multiple pipelines are in poor or failing condition and need to be replaced.
Approximately 3,000 feet of the existing sewer line will be evaluated for condition and capacity.
“This evaluation will give engineers the information needed to design a project to upgrade this section,” Williams said.

Edmondson Water System Improvements

This project to abandon the very old water main along Edmondson Street and Cream Level Road and reconnect intersecting streets to 16-inch and 18-inch water mains is nearing the completion of its final design and is scheduled for construction in the spring of 2023.
The old water main is a 6-inch pipe that doesn’t have the capacity of the larger pipe.
“Connecting water mains located along the streets intersecting Edmondson will improve water quality and flow along those streets,” said Williams. “The plan also includes replacing the existing fire hydrants and connecting them to the larger main to improve fire fighting capabilities.”

Loop 7 Disinfection Facilities

This project is to build a chlorine-boosting facility at the Loop 7 Water Tower. Because the water in this tower isn't used as often, the chlorine can dissipate before the water returns to the system.
Any modification to water treatment requires approval by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Since adding chlorine is considered a water treatment, the TCEQ is reviewing this project.

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