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Water is Flowing Out of Oak Ridge

Plans unveiled for new drinking water plant in Oak Ridge.

By Kevin Litwin on June 8, 2020

Oak Ridge, TN
Oak Ridge / Michael D. Tedesco

A new $42 million drinking water treatment facility will be designed during the majority of 2020, with bidding on the project starting in the fall and construction beginning in 2021. The new plant is estimated to be up and running by mid-to-late 2022.

“It’s a huge, positive, incredible project, and people in Oak Ridge will see no change to their water pressure during construction,†says Shira McWaters, public works director for the city of Oak Ridge. “We will be getting rid of an old, antiquated system and replacing it with one that is as modern as it gets.”

The Oak Ridge Chamber Report

The project will be financed through a 35-year Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan that will fund 49%, and the remaining 51% through a 30-year Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan. The plant will be constructed near the city’s existing Raw Water Intake facility.

“The treatment plant will process up to 16 million gallons per day using ultra filtration membranes that filter any bacteria particles greater than 0.01 microns, which is amazing,†McWaters says. “We currently are using three different plant sites that will now be consolidated into the one new drinking water plant, so we will also reduce our carbon footprint by improving our energy consumption and operational efficiency.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Oak Ridge area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Oak Ridge, TN

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