PHOTO: Cell one of the Thompson’s Station water treatment plant, which is currently partially drained / Photo courtesy of the town of Thompson’s Station
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The decision on how to repair cell one of the Thompson’s Station water treatment plant was postponed again to October during Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
The decision for deferral was made after disagreements regarding the extent of repairs arose among the board.
Thompson’s Station currently uses a drip irrigation system for wastewater treatment, where waste is filtered, cleaned and dripped into the soil, requiring a much larger area than traditional wastewater treatment plants. Each cell holds large amounts of wastewater.
The water treatment plant, located just off of Columbia Pike and south of Nutro Dog Park, was constructed in 2005. Previously, all residents were using septic systems.
Nearly a decade ago, a leak was discovered in cell one of the water treatment plant, which the city promptly drained into cell two to commence repairs. This lead to what Alderman Ben Dilks called a “catastrophic failure of cell two,” resulting in the repair for cell two being deemed a priority, with cell 1 not seeing repairs since its original leak nearly a decade ago.
The board discussed the option of examining only a portion of cell one for leaks, to which Alderman Dilks and Alderman Graham Shepard opposed. They argued in favor of a complete drainage of the cell, as well as removing the lining to examine the soil underneath.
“That is catastrophic,” Shepard said, speaking of the potential dangers of missing a leak in the cell. “It’s probably worth the time and money to do it right. No shortcuts on this one, I think it’s too risky.”
Dilks said there was “no way” he would vote in favor of anything less than a full drainage of the cell and examinations of both the lining and the soil underneath.
Dilks also explained that were the proposed plans of only draining a portion of cell one approved, and later a major leak discovered, the consequences could be dire.
“Worst case scenario, we could have sewage leaking out everywhere,” Dilks said. “Worst case scenario is we have porta potties out in the streets because we don’t have a sewer system.”
The decision on how to repair cell one will be discussed during the next meeting of the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen on October 9. It will be located at the Thompson’s Station Community Center, 1555 Thompson’s Station Road West, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179.