To honor the expansion of the K. Thomas Hutchinson Water Treatment Plant, Consolidated Utility District (CUD) hosted an Open House on Tuesday, September 15 that attracted state and local officials and leaders from the business community. The plant’s expansion greatly increased the capacity of water available on a daily basis from the previous maximum of 16 million gallons per day to 30 million gallons per day.
“With construction on the facility complete, the water service needs for Rutherford County’s continued rapid growth will be supported for years to come,” said CUD General Manager Bill Dunnill. “We produce more than 4 billion gallons of water each year. Given how attractive the county is to residents and newcomers, we expect to increase our production.”
“The expansion cost roughly $25 million overall, and you can see the results when you look at the upgrades,” said Chris Forte, manager of the plant. “We have 12 new filters in place, and each can handle 1.5 million gallons of water per day. We have two generators that produce bleach for disinfection, and four storage tanks that each can hold up to 9,600 gallons. This helps to ensure the safety of the water that we provide.”
“One of the best things about the plant is that we operate as a zero-discharge facility,” Forte added. “That means we send no materials back to Stones River or to any wastewater plant in the area.”
“We deeply appreciate the attendance from our elected officials, as well as leaders from the business community,” said Dunnill. “As a public utility, it’s important for us to show transparency in how we operate and how our funds are spent to support our residential and commercial ratepayers.”
“Rutherford County is fortunate to have a utility provider that is progressive, environmentally conscious, and committed to providing customers with effective, efficient, and professional services,” noted Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron. “This expansion is a testament to CUD’s continued efforts to meet the growth and corresponding needs of this county with viable solutions, not just for the present, but for the future as well.”
Attendees included representatives from the offices of United States Senator Marsha Blackburn and Congressman Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee State Senator Dawn White, Tennessee State Representative Mike Sparks, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, members of the Rutherford County Planning Commission, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce President Paul Latture, and executives from Franklin Synergy Bank.
Dunnill noted that CUD does not receive taxpayer money, and the utility is fully funded by tap fees and monthly bills to ratepayers. As tap fees are paid, the funds help to service capital improvements, the water treatment plant, and strategic planning. Any profits CUD makes are re-invested into capital improvements and debt reduction.
CUD is accountable to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the state comptroller and obeys all standards regarding state government meetings and regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
To date, CUD has installed more than 1,400 miles of pipe in Rutherford County and operates over 20,000 valves and more than 5,000 fire hydrants.
The mission of Consolidated Utility District is to provide safe drinking water for all residential, industrial, and governmental agencies, meeting and exceeding all federal and state standards at the lowest possible cost with high quality, efficiency, and integrity.