Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Cookeville Moving Forward With Water Plant Expansion

Cookeville will move forward with the last phase of its water treatment plant expansion plan.

Water Quality Control Director Ronnie Kelly said the $15 million project will prep the plant for a rated capacity of 30 million gallons per day (MGD).

“We’re currently rated at 15 (MGD), but probably can only push 14 through the plant though,” Kelly said. “But it will get us rated up to a 22.5. Then, everything will be in place, and then you could add some more sand filters and some stuff. But we’ll just put new pumps in to get to 30, so it sort of gets Cookeville pretty much set.”

The expansion will also include a new filters and and building improvements. Cookeville City Council voted Thursday to enter into a design contract for the project.

Cookeville constructed the water plant in 1971 and doubled its size twelve years later. Kelly said city officials commissioned a study in 1996 to begin the process of expanding the plant a second time.

The first and second phases included a new 10 million gallon tank, 30 inch lines from the lake into town, new electrical and pumps.

“The first phase, we borrowed money. That’s paying off this year. All the rest of these projects we’ve done with cash flow, so that’s paying out of reserves,” Kelly said. “Money is cheap right now, I’ve talked to the State Revolving Loan Fund people and I think it’s probably a project that we would borrow that money from.”

Kelly said the entire project will take about three or four years to complete.