Tennessee American Water to Begin Excavation Work in Tennessee River


Tennessee American Water to Begin Excavation Work in Tennessee River

Short Blasting Will Be Used to Break Up Rock


Chattanooga, Tenn. (June 25, 2018) – On Tuesday evening, June 26 (pending weather), Tennessee American Water will begin excavating across the Tennessee River in anticipation of installing a new 30-inch water main.  The process involves using a small charge to crack the rock, which is then excavated from the riverbed leaving a trench.  This trench will later be utilized for installing the new pipe.  The blasting process takes less than 10 minutes and the work is performed from a barge. 


Tennessee American Water began the $3.2 million project to install a 30-inch pipe in the Tennessee River in May. This new pipe will be one of three - and the largest - that delivers water to the 20,000 customers on the north side of Chattanooga, Red Bank and Signal Mountain. The pipe adds redundancy and resiliency to the water delivery system to assure reliable water services.

“Safety of the community and environment are top priorities,” said Kurt Stafford, engineering manager for Tennessee American Water. “We have worked closely with various agencies such as the Chattanooga Fire Department, TVA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) to follow all guidelines. The impact is very minimal and most people will not notice that the blasting has occurred since it takes place several feet under water.”


Some useful facts about the activity on the water and Riverwalk during the blasting schedule are:

  • When blasting is performed, it will take place after 5 p.m. and the contractor Reynolds will have two boats – one upstream and one downstream about 300 feet – to make sure the radius is clear around the barge.  An air horn will be sounded multiple times before the procedure.
  • This means that users of the water behind the Tennessee American Water plant will need to wait until the all-clear from Reynolds.
  • Users of the river should only be impacted for 10 minutes.
  • The Riverpark behind the Tennessee American Water plant will be temporarily closed for approximately 30 minutes while the discharge materials are delivered to and from the barge, at the beginning and end of the day.
  • This portion of the project will take around two to three months.


# # #





Tennessee American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 375,000 people in Tennessee and northern Georgia. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,900 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. More information can be found by visiting www.tennesseeamwater.com.


Connect with us: Facebook.com/tnamwater ● Twitter @tnamwater