New sewer connections for the city are on the way, thanks to a recent decision by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Late last week TDEC notified the City of Brentwood that it would receive partial relief from a two-year moratorium on new sewer connections. This is the second time Brentwood has been granted approval to move forward with a limited number of new connections, according to The Tennessean.

The moratorium, issued in 2006, placed a hold on any new sewer line connections because of rainwater and water from the Harpeth River spilling into the sewer system, causing overflows and hazardous conditions. The ban affected all new commercial and residential developments.

“The Department of Environment and Conservation has been satisfied and impressed with the work the city of Brentwood has done. They have made significant reductions in infiltration and inflow”, said Saya Qualls, chief engineer for the Division of Water Pollution Control.

Last summer Brentwood was allowed to offer connections to some customers who had prior approval.

This all started when TDEC discovered rainwater and water from the Harpeth River seeping into city sewer lines through cracks in aging pipes. That excess water caused the sewer pipes to fill up and overflow at the Brentwood-Metro pumping station, posing a health hazard.

Brentwood immediately went to work on a $30 million project that includes 100,000 feet of rehab work. Milton says the work has been going quickly and smoothly. He’s hoping that a complete lift of the order will come in the near future, as the project is ahead of schedule and expected to be finished around 2012.

“We’ve been very aggressive, much more than what the order has asked for,” Milton said.

Eighteen months into the project, 21 miles of pipes have been rehabbed.

Work at the Turner Farm off Concord Road is nearly complete. Rehab work was done there on the pipes that line the Harpeth River. Pipes at the Brentwood Country Club are also being rehabbed. Milton says the Maryland Farms area was one of the areas most in need of repair work. It was targeted at the beginning of the rehab project.

The city chose a less invasive approach to repairing the lines.

Instead of digging up the pipelines, a liner filled with hot water was placed inside the pipes. The hot water causes the liners to harden, essentially creating a pipe within a pipe to patch up the walls of the cracked sewer lines. This method cost $25 a linear foot, compared with the $50-$75 it would cost to dig up the pipes.

Brentwood has practiced this form of rehab for nearly 10 years now, according to Milton.

Manholes are next

Next in line for improvements are aging manholes, another point of entry for water seeping into the sewer system and causing overflows.

Older manholes are made of brick. Newer ones are made of concrete. The older ones are wearing away, Milton said.

The city received 13 bids last week from contractors looking to perform the rehab work. The Water and Sewer Department plans to take the bids before the City Commission soon to receive approval on the companies to perform the manhole repairs. Once approval is given, Milton says, he will get the teams quickly to work.

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