Metro Water Services receives EPA loan for water treatment plant improvements

The filter hall at the historic Omohundro Water Treatment Plant. The filtration building was an...
The filter hall at the historic Omohundro Water Treatment Plant. The filtration building was an addition to the site and completed in 1929.(Metro Water Services)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Water Services has received a $315 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act loan to help finance improvements at two water treatment plants.

The loan will help finance the $640 million project at the Omohundro and K.R. Harrington water treatment plants.

“We are grateful to the EPA for awarding this WIFIA loan to Metro Water Services,” Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter said in a statement. “The Process Advancements Project at the Omohundro and KR Harrington Water Treatment plants is the result of many years of strategic, long-term planning and this WIFIA loan marks a milestone in make these plans a reality for our community. Proper investment in infrastructure is necessary to ensure Nashville’s ability to provide safe, clean and reliable water and waste services to our community now and in the future. The Process Advancement Project funded by WIFIA allows MWS to proactively address aging infrastructure, expand capacity, reduce flood risk and incorporate the use of new treatment technologies for enhanced water quality at our water treatment facilities, preparing them for the next generation.”

This low-rate loan will enable improvements necessary to modernize aging facilities, address emerging contaminants, increase resiliency and accommodate future demand. The biggest improvements will be the installation of granular activated carbon post filters at both the Omohundro and K.R. Harrington plants and increase drinking water production and storage capacity at Omohundro.

The GAC post filter system will provide four key water quality benefits:

  • Lower finished water total organic compound concentrations
  • Lower formation of disinfection by-products
  • Improved taste and odor control
  • Ability to address a wide range of contaminants of emerging concerns such as, but not limited to the following: Per – and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), pharmaceuticals, cyanotoxins, endocrine disrupting compounds and agricultural runoff.

“Metro Water Services is investing in their city’s future by expanding drinking water capacity and increasing resiliency all while creating jobs and saving ratepayers money,” EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhikia Fox said in a news release. “This WIFIA loan will fund the installation of a new filtration to address vital emerging contaminates, like PFAS, so that drinking water is safe for every person in Nashville.”

Metro Water Services was invited to apply for the loan in December 2021. Construction will begin by the end of 2022 and is expected to be complete in 2028.