The city of Crossville has completed its Lake Tansi Water Harvesting project, which began early in 2010.
"We pumped water from Lake Tansi in early April 2012 as part of our contract with the Lake Tansi Property Owners Association," said Tim Begley, director of engineering for the city. "We are living within the means of our contract, only taking water from the top four inches of the lake."
Begley added that the POA has been very cooperative to work with and, in general, this has been a very successful project.
"I am happy with the way the project has progressed," said Jerry Davenport, Tansi general manager. "The project has gone well, very well, and we have enjoyed working with Tim Begley, who has done more than the letter of the contract. The city is mowing the dam and Tim is providing me with daily metering of the water. The POA is very well pleased with this project."
Lake Tansi POA President Danny Plumlee said, "I was worried about the process for monitoring the water harvesting of the lake. I can say that the city has been very forthright and transparent in all of my dealings with them.
"Mr. Begley and Mr. Bruce Wyatt in particular have been very responsive and sensitive to any concerns expressed by the POA," he continued. "We have been invited to tour the water plant, the pumping station at Tansi, as well as the dam project at Meadow Park Lake. As far as I can see, the city has complied with the agreement in every instance. I believe the partnership is working well and will continue to do so."
Begley said, "We have made every effort to protect the community's property values. We constructed an attractive building (pump house) and fence that would be attractive and integrate well into the neighborhood. People passing by will never know that the harvesting is going on. The only sign that we are pumping water is when we are cleaning the intake screens, which causes a small fountain-like disturbance on the surface."
The first pumping efforts took place when the lake was down about four feet. The POA was drawing the water down so property owners could work on their sea walls.
"It might appear that we were helping them achieve their goal of bringing the water level down, but our efforts had absolutely no impact on the water level," Begley said.
The Tansi maintenance crew had to operate the siphons on four occasions during that time period in order to hold the water level down.
This project has also helped to offset the loss of water at Meadow Park Lake. The water harvesting project impacts much of the county, with South Cumberland Utility District, which serves Lake Tansi, and other water utilities purchasing water from the city.
"So, not only Tansi residents, but people from all over the county may very well be drinking water at times from Lake Tansi," Begley said.
A resident in the neighborhood of the pump house said he can see the pump house from his porch. He was heard to say that he thought the city was going to be a good neighbor.
"There were no loud parties, no traffic and the pump house is attractive."
The project included building a new road to the pump house and repairing and replacing roads that were damaged when the water pipeline was laid. It was the city's responsibility to put the roads back to their previous condition.
Rather than hiring an outside firm to do the roadwork, the city contracted with the Cumberland County Highway Department, which was able to complete the job at significant savings. Scott Blaylock, county road supervisor, said construction to repair all affected side roads should be finished by about May 15.
"We have already put the base stone down and done some ditching. Prior to tar and chipping these roads, we will clip and roll for prep work. When we finish, these roads will be in better shape than before the pipeline project began."
Blaylock added, "One of my goals when seeking the county road superintendent seat was to improve communication between the city and county. We are stronger because of our cooperation with the city. I enjoy working with Street Superintendent for the city, Joe Miller."
The partnership also allowed the county road department to save $30,000, which is now available for other county road projects.
For more information about this or other projects, contact City Manager Bruce Wyatt at 484-5113.