By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Department is working to correct deficiencies noted during a recent visit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

In a letter dated July 11, TDEC gave the Water Department a rating of 564 points out of a possible 599 (94 percent) but noted a number of problems that required addressing.

The most serious of those were in regards to various water tanks, which in some cases showed corrosion and other issues.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

“That’s going to be the most costly things we fix,” said superintendent Tommy McFarland. “We’re looking at both replacing or repairing. If it costs a half-million to repair it, it might be better to go ahead with a new, bigger tank.”

The Highway 25 tank was noted to have a 4-inch hole in the top and corrosion was noted on the interior. McFarland said the hole had been patched as of this week.

The Morrison Street tank, according to the letter, has a roof that “may be in danger of collapse.” McFarland said the department had retained an engineering firm to look at options to determine the best way to proceed with regards to all the county’s water tanks.

The state has requested a plan to address the water tank deficiencies within three years.

A meeting was held Tuesday morning between McFarland, County Mayor Carroll Carman and TDEC officials to discuss the letter and the Water Department’s response.

TDEC officials noted the department’s actions and said Trousdale County is “putting out excellent water” while noting that some issues were critical, they were not emergencies.

Most of the other deficiencies noted were in regards to maintenance of buildings and equipment, which McFarland said was already being addressed. He estimated the costs of the needed maintenance could hit $150,000.

Another notation was the lack of maintaining a flushing program, which cleans out the lines on a regular basis to prevent bacteria and other growth. McFarland said the work has been done, but the department did not have the required records to be able to demonstrate that.

“All utilities have to flush their mains; it’s a health issue,” he said. “It keeps bacteria, sediment out of the lines. We only had half a year of records. They were doing it; it just wasn’t being written down.

“We’re going to get everything back in order. That’s my job.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.