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BMA responds to warnings of pump station problems

Jonesborough Director of Environmental Services Hugh Thomason may not be a psychic, but he is certainly predicting some major problems in the town’s future.
Thomason spoke earlier this month to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen about potential issues with the wastewater pump station at Persimmon Ridge Park.
According to Thomason, that station, located next to the park’s ball fields, handles all of the sewer flow from the Washington County Industrial Park, Grandview School and residential areas including the Eagles Nest, Meadows and Mill Creek subdivisions. It also handles flow from homes on Ben Gamble Road as well as businesses along Jackson Boulevard and Persimmon Ridge Road at the west end of town.
With the town already expanding its sewer service to areas including Ashley Meadows subdivision, which has an entire drainage basin that flows into the Persimmon Ridge Pump Station, it is critical to change the type of pump located at the station to one that can handle a higher volume, Thomason said.
“When the station was originally designed and put into place in 2001, nobody actually anticipated the growth that has taken place in that area,” Thomason said. “If we’re going to be prepared in the future growth, now is the time to get the money in here and get this taken care of.”
The estimated cost of renovating the pump station is $298,000, which BMA members voted earlier this month to add to its funding application for the second phase of the town’s ongoing wastewater improvement project.
The application is currently being revised to be submitted to Rural Development for the loan.
Phase II of the multi-million dollar wastewater improvement project includes moving the plant’s discharge location from Little Limestone Creek to the Nolichucky River and installing an outfall line to carry the discharge to the river.
According to Town Administrator Bob Browning, the town is better off being proactive with the Persimmon Ridge pump station than forcing an emergency repair down the road.
Alderman Chuck Vest agreed.
“I like when we think proactively,” he said after making the motion to approve the increased request for funding. Alderman Terry Countermine seconded the motion, which unanimously passed.