The City of Oak Ridge began as the Manhattan Project for World War II, with the primary purpose to develop the Atomic Bomb. In the spring of 1943, the former rural communities within the area were cleared away, fenced, and controlled by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. It was not until 1949 that the government town was formally named Oak Ridge.

Between the spring of 1943 and August 1945, a huge industrial complex and city were built. Due to the large work force which was required, the Army constructed homes which were intended to be temporary and installed utilities such as drinking water and sewer collection.

In 1947, the City shifted from the Army to civilian control as a part of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Twelve years later (1959), the town was incorporated with a modified City Manager – Council form of government. With time and a maturing of environmental awareness, the regulatory community began looking at wet weather discharges of untreated wastewater. In 1991, the City and State of Tennessee began discussions relative to overflows at the influent pumping station of the wastewater treatment plant.

An aggressive program was developed to reduce wet weather flow. Over the period of July 1994 through May 2011 approximately $18,144,033 has been spent by the City on infiltration/inflow (I/I) reduction.

As with a preponderance of wastewater collection systems across the United States, wet weather overflows still exist. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has become proactive toward the elimination of untreated sewage overflows. On September 27, 2010, the EPA issued an Administrative Order (AO). The AO was initiated and prepared as a result of a Compliance Inspection Report of the Oak Ridge Sewage Collection and Transportation System conducted in October 2009.

The AO directs the City of Oak Ridge to undertake significant work activities, conduct numerous studies and prepare the associated analysis to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. This website contains a vast amount of information and includes the following:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Location of Sewer Projects
  • Work Activities
  • Cost Summary
  • Remediation Plan
  • Quarterly Progress Reports
  • Management-Operations-Maintenance
  • Analytical Studies and Reports


Thank you for your interest in the sewer activities within the City of Oak Ridge. If you need assistance with this website or have suggestions or comments, please send an email to pubworksdis@oakridgetn.gov or call and leave a voicemail message at 425-3495.