Trousdale County will seek up to $630,000 in grant funding to upgrade sewer capacity and improve performance.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers addressed the need at a public meeting Monday evening to discuss the county’s application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Funded by state and federal government, CDBGs are designed to fund community development activities to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

“This is a very competitive grant and probably every county or municipality across the state will put in for this,” Chambers said. “Last year, approximately 55% of applications received were approved.”

Trousdale County has applied for and received CDBGs in previous years and they have typically been used to upgrade or add water lines. If approved, the Water Department would use the 2021 CDBG to address infiltration & inflow, or the runoff of surface water into the sewer system. Dilution of sewage decreases the efficiency of treatment, and may cause sewage volumes to exceed design capacity.

“This is something the Water Board has looked at. The last analysis done of our system, in 2017 I think, by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation had our inflow at roughly 58.7%,” Chambers said.

At 60%, the state will require rehabilitation of sewer systems.

The Water Department has purchased a camera system to identify leaks and inflow points within the county’s sewer system. General Manager Tommy McFarland said the department would be working to find sewer lines most in need of repair. Dry weather is needed in order to do so efficiently and the summer months are typically the best time to work on I&I, he added.

“Initially it would be putting in monitoring devices at certain manholes to categorize those high flows,” McFarland said. “That pinpoints those areas that need the most looking at; what needs to be fixed. It helps us go after more grant money.”

The CDBG program requires a local match, based on the county’s ability to pay as defined by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

“Our match is currently 13% of the project cost,” Chambers said.

The county’s application has to be in by the end of February and CDBG awards are typically announced in the fall.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

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