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TDEC recognizes FPU on moratorium lifting

Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau

TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau joined State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh Tuesday for a special ceremony formally announcing that the six-year sewer connection moratorium for the city of Fayetteville has been lifted. 

The announcement is due to major improvements made to the community’s wastewater treatment plant and collection system, in addition to the system’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,” Martineau said. 

Britt Dye

Britt Dye

“These upgraded infrastructure efforts will help protect Fayetteville’s water quality, natural resources and serve as a boost to its economy.”

“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,” said Dye.

“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 at large.” 

Along with Commissioner Martineau, Dr. Sandra Dudley, TDEC’s Director of Water Resources, was on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony.

“It’s a smart utility that recognizes that sewer rehabilitation and maintenance is not something that’s just a one-time project,” Dudley said during Tuesday’s ceremony. “It’s an ongoing effort.

Dr. Sandra Dudley

Dr. Sandra Dudley

“What impresses me even more about the whole program that you’ve undertaken here is that you’ve taken a wholistic look at your system and haven’t just limited yourself to what was necessary to comply with the order,” she added. “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.”

FPU staff and board members were also on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony.

“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 chairman, along with the CEO/general manager, expressed appreciation to Ryan Owens and David Money from TDEC’s Columbia office and thanked FPU’s staff for their efforts.

FPU staff

FPU staff and guests at Tuesday's ceremony

“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. Now they’re smoke testing and flow monitoring. They’re busy all the time.

“We’ve got a very, very good staff,” he added.

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


Officials pause for a photo after Tuesday's ceremony.

The January 2006 agreed order detailed ongoing issues with excessive inflow and infiltration in sewer lines that caused numerous sewer overflows.  To address these issues, FPU met the following requirements and initiated infrastructure improvements: implemented a Sewer Overflow Response Plan 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; and made numerous wastewater treatment plant improvements, including installation of new influent pump station and screen and replacement of aerators and hydraulics.