The City of Alcoa’s water treatment and distribution system is celebrating 60 years of service to the citizens of Alcoa and Blount County. Prior to being operated by the City, the original water system was developed by Alcoa, Inc. in 1914 and consisted of a one-day supply tank. Distribution pipes carried the water throughout the City from a spring. In 1919 a 4.5 million gallon reservoir and pumping station was built to create a six-day water supply. Also, there was 10.6 miles of watermain that had been laid to distribute water to all the customers.
The City of Alcoa assumed ownership of the water system on January 4, 1960. Two years later the plant was rebuilt expanding capacity to eight million gallons of water per day. The Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and distribution system continued to grow over the next several decades to meet the needs of the growing communities.
After many successful decades of operation the City of Alcoa built a new, award winning, state of the art membrane Water Treatment Plant capable of producing 16 million gallons of water a day. The plant construction started in 2001 and was completed in 2007. Drawing its water from the Little River, the plant averages production of 8 to 10 million gallons of water per day. Today, the system consists of three pump stations, six tanks, and over 230 miles of watermains. In 2018, the WTP replaced the original membranes.
The City of Alcoa WTP today serves an estimated 30,123 people. In addition, the City continues to provide water to Arconic (TN Operations) and Tuckaleechee Utility District. Both the City of Maryville and Knox Chapman Utility District purchase water from the City of Alcoa on an as needed basis. The WTP is staffed by nine operators and assistants with a maintenance staff of five. Operation of the WTP is a 24-hour per day operation, seven days per week. Water Treatment Plant employees also dispatch after-hours emergency calls for all Public Work functions.
There have been many accomplishments and changes in the last 60 years by the City of Alcoa WTP and distribution system as well as with the community it serves.