The Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance of City streets, water and wastewater treatment plants, water distribution system, wastewater collection system, and City-owned buildings; for the construction of and improvements to these facilities; and for maintenance, service and repair of all City automotive vehicles, heavy equipment and stationary equipment. The Department also prepares and administers the Solid Waste Collection Contract and serves as the City staff representatives on the Traffic Safety Advisory Board.
The Department consists of 98 employees in five divisions:
- Wastewater and Water Treatment
- Equipment and Fleet Maintenance
The activities and functions performed by the Department are included in the General Fund, Waterworks Fund and State Street Aid Fund.
The Administration Staff goals are to ensure the provision of an acceptable level of physical services; to provide general supervision of Public Works programs; to ensure implementation of these programs through effective and efficient management; and to coordinate extraordinary maintenance improvements to the City's physical assets.
The Supervision/Administration Staff consists of the Director, the Utility Manager, two Operations and Division Managers, the City Engineer, one Administrative Specialists and two Administrative Associates. This staff supervises and oversees administration of all of the department's operations and activities.
- Patrick Berge, Interim Director and Utility Manager
- Roger Flynn, City Engineer
- Rick Irwin, Operations and Maintenance Manager (Water and Sewer)
- Mike Miller, Streets and Fleet Maintenance Manager
- Miller Bailey, Environmental Compliance Manager
- Cindy Will, Administrative Associate IV
- Antonette Whitson, Administrative Associate IV
- McKenzie Hale, Administrative Associate II
- Bailey Arndt, Administrative Associate II
The Engineering Division oversees the design and construction of various municipal infrastructure and utility improvements within the City. These include capital projects initiated by the City and portions of projects built for City ownership by private developers. The division provides three major services:
- Design - including surveying, preparing and/or reviewing construction plans and specifications, estimating costs, monitoring City construction contracts and updating maps and records.
- Development Review - reviewing preliminary and final subdivision plats, inspecting water, sewer, street and drainage construction within private developments and reviewing construction plans for commercial/industrial projects.
- Traffic Engineering - conducting traffic counts and analyzing the performance of the traffic circulation system, reviewing traffic impact studies and recommending improvements to signals and streets.
The goal is to obtain infrastructure and utility improvements into City ownership, which meet established engineering standards and code requirements and serve the community effectively, efficiently and safely.
The Engineering Division consists of six employees and is responsible for reviewing all subdivision and developmental plans proposed for construction within the City to ensure proposed plans are in compliance with City stormwater, water, sewer, roadway, and erosion control guidelines. The division is responsible for performing site inspections to verify that utilities and roadways proposed for dedication to the City are properly constructed and installed to City specifications. This division is responsible for conducting pavement condition surveys of all City streets and for updating as-built plans and maps of the water, wastewater and storm drainage systems.
Traffic Safety Advisory Board (TSAB) - Roger Flynn, City Engineer is the staff liaison for this Board. The purpose of the TSAB is to serve as an advisory body to City Council. In the performance of this function, the Board reviews any traffic safety issues requiring Council approval. Upon request, the Board also gives advice and assistance in other matters concerning traffic safety.
The Building Maintenance Division is responsible for the maintenance of all City-owned buildings, including the following:
- Municipal Building
- Central Services Complex
- Centennial Golf Course
- Civic Center Recreation Building
- Civic Center Public Library
- Scarboro Community Center
- Fire Stations 1, 2 and 3
- Municipal Outdoor Swimming Pool
- Raleigh Road Ambulance Building
- Water Treatment Plant
- Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Water and Wastewater Pumping Stations
- 1010 Commerce Park Drive
The Equipment Maintenance and Fleet Management Division is responsible for maintenance, service and repair of all City automotive vehicles, heavy equipment and stationary equipment. The Equipment Shop personnel are responsible for maintaining the City fleet, which is quite large. It consists of approximately 60 sedans, 70 light trucks, 65 heavy trucks including fire apparatus, ambulances and electrical department line trucks, and over 300 various light and heavy equipment pieces. The mechanics also perform routine maintenance of the fueling station, emergency generators, and security gates at the Central Services Complex. Each Fleet Maintenance Technician has their own specialties, but can perform work on all types of equipment ranging from lawn mowers and chain saws to heavy construction equipment.
The Equipment Shop has three sub-activities:
- Repair Shop - Providing repair services for all equipment
- Fueling Station - Dispensing fuel and oil
- Preventative Maintenance - providing routine scheduled service, washing and other appearance tasks and safety checks
Management of the fleet includes overseeing the specifications for all new vehicles purchased and reviewing the usage, fuel consumption and maintenance costs of each vehicle. Other tasks include procuring the rental of equipment to perform specialized tasks by the department and scheduling the department's use of City-owned specialty equipment.
The Operations Division is responsible for the following:
- General Maintenance
- City Street Maintenance
- Water Distribution System
- Wastewater System
- State Highway Maintenance
Employee crew assignments are flexible in order to allow for shifting of workers to various crews as necessary to satisfy large project demands or deadlines.
General Maintenance involves maintenance of the following functions: Storm drainage ditches, street cleaning, litter removal, mowing of street rights-of-ways and other areas, city-wide cleanup, cemetery maintenance, and miscellaneous building maintenance.
In addition to cleaning City streets, the City-owned Jackson Square and Grove Center parking lots are also maintained in order to present a neat and orderly appearance. A private contractor also performs litter removal for the months of November through March, with City crews providing assistance as required. Mowing includes 162 acres street rights-of-way and other small parcels. Cemetery Maintenance is provided to ten small cemeteries located throughout the City.
Formerly cared for by the Atomic Energy Commission, the cemeteries were transferred to the City upon incorporation. Minor building maintenance is performed on the Marina and the old Fire Alarm Building, which houses the Anderson County Ambulance Service.
The Department is responsible for maintaining approximately 226 miles of streets and 100 miles of sidewalks. The Department is also responsible for mowing on street rights-of-way, maintaining flow of stormwater drainage ditches, providing an Annual Leaf Pick-Up Program and an Annual Spring Trash/Rubbish Pick-Up Program.
Water Distribution System
The system consists of approximately 219 miles of water main piping; 2,424 fire hydrants; 4,600 main valves; 9,050 service laterals; 12,040 water meters; fire elevated water storage tanks; two in-ground storage tanks; 11 water pumping stations; and 76 main pressure reducing valve stations. City water customers use an average of 4.15 million gallons of water on a daily basis.
Work performed includes maintenance of reservoirs, storage tanks, distribution mains, service lines, pressure-reducing valve stations and booster stations, valve maintenance and inspection, installation and removal of meters, and cleaning, repairing and testing meters.
The Wastewater System consists of one main 30.0 MGD wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and one 0.6 MGD treatment plant that serves the Clinch River Industrial Park, ETTP, Horizon Center and Rarity Ridge. Additionally, the system includes approximately 236-miles of collection system piping; 2,470 manholes; and 28 wastewater pumping stations. The treatment facilities are operated by the Water/Wastewater Treatment Division and the collection system and pumping stations are maintained by the Operations Division.
State Highway Maintenance
This involves maintenance of portions of State Highway 62 (Illinois Avenue) and Highway 170 (Edgemoor Road) located within the City limits of Oak Ridge, and Highway 95 (Oak Ridge Turnpike) from the 95/61 split to the end of Wisconsin Avenue.
The primary purpose of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTTP) is protecting the health and well-being of our community. The WWTP's objectives include:
- Prevention of disease and nuisance conditions
- Avoidance of contamination of water supplies and navigable waters
- Maintenance of clean water for survival of fish, bathing and recreation; and
- General conservation of water for all uses. The process removes organics, solids and pathogenic organisms from the water or changes them from complex makeup to stable minerals or organics that can be compatible with the environment.
Without adequate wastewater treatment, many of the objectionable characteristics of decaying wastewater could show up in the local waterways. These could consist of noticeable things such as disagreeable odors, discoloration of the water, dying fish and sludge deposits or factors that cannot be seen, such as disease-producing bacteria. The presence of any of these would certainly discourage or limit the beneficial and recreational use of the waterways we enjoy so much. By providing a wastewater treatment facility, we are preventing the adverse effects that could cause the degradation and pollution of all receiving water.
The City operates two wastewater treatment plants that are staffed 365 days a year. These wastewater treatment plants treat a combined flow of 5.6 million gallons of wastewater per day for a total of 2.1 billion gallons per year. The operators perform daily operations of the main wastewater plant and the Rarity Ridge wastewater plant. These operations include running control tests on the different treatment process, evaluating the test results and making any necessary adjustments in the process to protect the receiving stream. Their duties also include maintaining the building and grounds at the plant. They assist the laboratory technician, maintenance department and environmental compliance officer when needed.
Many commercial and industrial establishments discharge waste through the public collection system to the WWTP instead of directly to lakes or waterways. These discharges may contain significant quantities of toxic pollutants and other substances that can affect the collection and treatment system and may interfere with its performance. The City has an Industrial Pretreatment program in place to monitor all commercial and industrial customers that discharge to the collection and treatment system.
The Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Coordinator (ERCC) has duties that include enforcement of the Industrial Pretreatment Program, the Backflow Prevention Program, and the land application of biosolids. The ERCC currently monitors 11 commercial and industrial facilities in the City that have industrial pretreatment discharge permits. All of these discharges are inspected and sampled semi-annually to insure compliance with their discharge permit.
The Backflow Prevention Program involves the inspection and testing by contract of approximately 1,400 backflow prevention devices currently installed in the City's water distribution system. Each device is tested annually to insure the proper working order to protect the potable water supply. Plans of new commercial and industrial facilities are reviewed for compliance with backflow prevention requirements.
The ERCC also oversees the operation of the treatment plant laboratory and the sample monitoring activities.
Maintenance is preserving assets and keeping equipment capacity available as required for the varied sections of operations. To be effective, the maintenance organization plans, estimates, and schedules its work. To be cost effective, they emphasize the philosophy of continuous improvement both in what tasks are being done and how they are done to improve the reliability and performance of the equipment being maintained.
The wastewater maintenance staff is responsible for all mechanical and instrumentation equipment located at the WTTP, the wastewater lift stations, the water booster stations, the outdoor swimming pool, and the indoor swimming pool. The maintenance crew will also design and install new equipment and controls where it is required throughout the City. Many of the special tools used by other City personnel are either fabricated or repaired by the maintenance crew.
The WTTP laboratory technician is responsible for conducting analytical testing in conformance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocol to determine if the treatment plant is operating efficiently and within the limits of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The laboratory technician also performs analytical analysis on the receiving stream, the radioactive screening of biosolids applied to the Chestnut Ridge Landfill, and provides chemical and biological information to the wastewater staff.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) owned and operated a potable water treatment plant at its Y-12 facility that sold water to the City of Oak Ridge for distribution to Oak Ridge residents and businesses. On May 1, 2000, ownership of the water treatment facility was transferred to the City of Oak Ridge. The City owns and operates the water distribution system. Public Works Department water plant and operations employees are charged with maintaining the system and ensuring a safe and sufficient supply of water will be delivered to its customers.
Work performed includes the following:
- Maintenance of the water treatment plant, reservoirs, storage tanks, distribution mains, service lines, pressure reducing valve stations and booster stations.
- Valve maintenance and inspection
- Installation and removal of meters
- Cleaning, repairing and testing meters
Litter strewn along the streets creates a poor image of a city. It pollutes the community's environment and tends to lower the quality of life for citizens. The ADOPT-A-STREET program provides an opportunity for citizens and citizen groups, including individuals, corporate, civic and other organizations, to become involved in keeping the streets of Oak Ridge clean; thereby making our community a more attractive place to live and visit.
Citizen participation in the ADOPT-A-STREET program will help the City to save tax dollars that can then be applied to other activities to enhance the community's quality of life. The cleaner environment will generate civic pride and will encourage residents and visitors alike not to litter. The affect goes beyond the litter actually removed and includes that which goes undiscarded due to a more conscientious and caring public.
Any individual or group who meets criteria established by the City can adopt a street, or a section of a lengthy street, for litter control. By signing the adoption contract, which is effective for one year, the group agrees to pick-up litter on the adopted street at least once every two months. Participants must be at least 12 years of age. Groups whose members are 12 through 17 years of age must have at least one adult supervisor for every five participants. Litter in the medians and traffic islands may be removed by adults only.
Each group must select a coordinator and an alternate, one of whom must be present at every pickup session. The coordinator will conduct a safety meeting for all participants before each pickup session.
The Public Works Department will provide safety vests, gloves, litterbags and roadway warning signs. This equipment will be furnished to the coordinator before each pickup and he/she must return it to the Public Works Department during the next workday.
After the first two pick-ups are completed, a recognition sign will be placed at the beginning and the end of the adopted street bearing the name of the responsible organization. Upon completion of the first year of commitment, the City will present a special Certificate of Appreciation to the group.
How to Apply
Organizations interested in participating in the ADOPT-A-STREET program should print the application form (PDF) and email to Adopt a Street program or fax to: 865-425-1843. If the organization decides to participate, an adoption agreement (PDF) must be signed by the organization's designated coordinator. Participation forms may also be mailed to:
City of Oak Ridge
Public Works Department
P.O. Box 1
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0001
- Any organization or group can participate.
- They must sign an agreement for one year where they agree to pick up the litter from their adopted street at least once every two months.
- After the second pick-up, the City will erect an Adopt-A-Street sign displaying the organization's name.
- Each group will select a coordinator and alternate, one of whom must be present at each pick-up session.
- Prior to each pick-up session, the coordinators must go over the safety reminders with all of their participants.
- Participants must be at least 12 years of age. Any participant between the ages of 12 through 17 years must sign the proper consent form prior to participation.
The following streets are included in the program. The streets already adopted will be marked:
- Administration Road - Adopted
- Badger Avenue - Adopted
- Bear Creek Road (West End at CRIP)
- S. Benedict Avenue -Adopted
- Bethel Valley Road - Adopted
- Broadway - Adopted
- Bus Terminal Road - Adopted
- E. Tennessee Avenue (GA Avenue to NY Avenue) - Adopted
- East Division Road - Adopted
- Emory Valley Road "A" (Lafayette to Davidson) - Adopted
- Emory Valley Road "B" (Davidson to Melton Lake)
- Fairbanks Road
- Georgia Avenue (ORTP to TN)
- Gum Hollow Road - Adopted
- Jefferson Avenue (ORTP to Robertsville Road)
- S. Jefferson Circle
- Laboratory Road
- Lafayette Drive
- Mitchell Road - Adopted
- Melton Lake Drive "A" (Turnpike to Amanda) - Adopted
- Melton Lake Drive "B" (Amanda Dr. to Rivers Run) - Adopted
- Melton Lake Drive "C" (Rivers Run to Edgemoor)
- Providence Road
- Raccoon Road - Adopted
- Raleigh Road
- Robertsville Road (Illinois Avenue to ORTP) - Adopted
- Robertsville Road (Illinois Avenue to Jefferson Avenue)
- Rutgers Avenue - Adopted
- Scarboro Road "A" (S. Ill. Avenue to Union Valley Road) - Adopted
- Scarboro Road "B" (Union Valley Road to Bethel Valley Road)
- S. Tulane Avenue - Adopted
- E. Tulsa Road - Adopted
- Tulsa Road
- Tuskegee Drive (Illinois to Hampton)
- Tuskegee Drive (Hampton to South Hill)
- W. Tyrone Road
- Union Valley Road - Adopted
- Valley Court
- Wilberforce Avenue (E. Tulsa Road to S Benedict Avenue) - Adopted
Other streets may be added in the future as participation increases.
The Oak Ridge Turnpike (SR95), Illinois Avenue (SR62) and Edgemoor Road (SR170) are State highways and are included in the separate State of Tennessee's Adopt-A-Highway program.
Litter Pickup Procedure
(For safety reasons it is preferred that litter pick-ups be performed on weekends)
Notify the Public Works Department (425-1875 or email the Adopt a Street program) by Thursday of the week in which your organization will be working. This will assure that the proper signs, vests, gloves, and bags will be ready for a coordinator to pick-up on Friday afternoon, before 5 pm
When contacting the Public Works Department, please give the following information:
- Organization name
- Coordinator name
- Number of participants
Signs, vests, gloves, and bags may be picked up at the Public Works Department in the Central Services Complex on Woodbury Lane between noon and 5 pm on Friday.
The group coordinator shall cover the safety procedures with the participants before the pick-up begins.
Workers are required to work within the area between the Work Zone signs.
Two work zone signs are required on all two-lane streets. Four work zone signs will be needed for streets which have grass medians, such as Lafayette Drive, South Tulane Avenue, and Emory Valley Road. Signs must be placed at each end of the work area facing oncoming traffic and placed three feet from the edge of the pavement on the shoulder and in the median. Work zones should be limited to 2,000 feet in length. Signs must be moved accordingly as workers complete sections of the street.
All workers must wear safety vests!
Leave trash bags tied and placed several feet from the edge of the pavement. Public Works crews will pick them up on Monday.
Return all signs and vests to the Public Works Department on Monday.
The coordinator must monitor the work zone at all times!