It’s time for the city of Crossville to make a plan for future water needs, an engineering consultant told the city council Tuesday, but those plans may not include additional water supply.

“There’s enough water to get you through the next 25 years,” Greg Davenport with Nashville engineering firm JR Wauford and Company told the council. “You’ve studied this thing to death. Now what you need is a road map to the future.”

Population and growth projections place the city’s water needs at between 8 million and 9 million gallons of treated water per day in the next 20 years, with a need for 10.9 million to 12 million gallons per day in 50 years.

Councilman J.H. Graham III questioned the water demand projections, saying a prior study had said the city would need to provide 9 million gallons of water a day by 2025. The city currently produces 3.5 million gallons of water each day between its two treatment facilities.

“I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it would be once in a lifetime,” Davenport said. “But if you don’t start, you can’t finish. And permits take a long time to get.”

The city’s current water sources can provide more than 9 million gallons per day. 

“This would be the amount of water you need to pump into the Crossville water system to meet demand with an allotment for industrial growth,” Davenport explained. This includes the amount of water Crossville needs to provide surrounding utility districts. 

Davenport used the maximum safe raw water yield during record drought to determine Holiday Lake can provide 5.34 million gallons a day while Meadow Park Lake can provide 4.08 million gallons. 

“What flows over the hill is 1.9 million gallons a day,” he said. 

Instead of looking for new water sources, Davenport said the recommendation is to “keep what you’ve got.”

The city can currently process 4 million gallons a day at the Holiday Lake treatment facility and 3.5 million gallons a day at Meadow Park Lake. 

The city of Crossville has been studying its water supply for almost 20 years, Davenport said. Completed projects include a waterline delivering raw water from Lake Tansi to Meadow Park Lake and renovation of Meadow Park Lake Dam to repair leaks.

Davenport reviewed possible options to include expanding the water treatment facility at Meadow Park Lake, piping excess raw water from Holiday Lake to Meadow Park Lake and raising Meadow Park Lake Dam to provide for more water storage.

“The Meadow Park Lake plant is newer and has more useful life in it. It would be a better asset to expand,” Davenport said. 

Lastly, if additional raw water is needed, he said the city could explore harvesting water from Caney Fork River, though that would be 25 years or more in the future.

Another option would be renegotiating the agreement with Lake Tansi to provide for more raw water during the dry part of the year.

He doesn’t recommend a pipeline from a distant reservoir.

“We consider option like going way off the Plateau to very large water reservoirs like Center Hill Lake or Watts Bar Lake to be an unreasonable option,” he said.

At this time, there would be limited need for the water and the cost to pump the water would be high.

“You would never use it until your lake’s depleted because you’ve got good quality water right here on the Plateau,” Davenport said. “You may not use it but once every 50 years.”

He recommended the council allow the company to develop a scope of work that provided cost estimates and chronological planning for each project.

The council will consider allowing the company to more forward with that work when it meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

The following items are also on Tuesday’s agenda:

•Creation of an airport committee

•Request for Proposals for lease of the Crossville Depot

•Additional full-time staff at Meadow Park Lake

•Street closing for the Run to Read

•One-time donation to the Cumberland County High School cheerleading squad

•Proposal for Homestead water tank resurfacing

•LED street light proposal

•Reappointment of administrative hearing officers

•Agreement with Cumberland Medical Center for drawing blood samples for Crossville Police Department

•Acceptance of Holly Tree Dr. and Panther Valley Rd. as city streets

•Budget amendment for demolition and property cleanup

•Purchase of UV bulbs and a mower at the sewer treatment facility

•Application for the 2019 Traffic Safety Grant

•Loan agreement for the Air Force jet on display at CCHS

•Contracts with Community Development Partners and CT Consultants for the downtown sidewalk grant project.

The council will meet as the audit committee prior to the regular monthly meeting at 5:15 p.m. in the conference room. It will convene as the Crossville Beer Board at 5:45 p.m. in the council chambers. All meetings are open to the public and take place at Crossville City Hall, 392 N. Main St.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.