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Plateau Utility District is the public water provider for the cities of Wartburg and Sunbright as well as the surrounding communities of Mossy Grove, Deer Lodge, Burrville, and Lancing. As defined by Tennessee Code Annotated Title 7 Chapter 82, also known as the “Utility District Law of 1937”, Plateau Utility District is considered a municipality, but without the power to levy or collect taxes.
The District’s administrative office and water treatment facility is located in Wartburg, Tennessee with water storage tanks and pump stations disbursed throughout the service area. We currently have approximately 4,200 service connections within our service area providing drinking water to both residences and businesses; both combining to equate to approximately 11,000 persons served.
Plateau Utility District operates a surface water treatment facility capable of treating 2.4 million gallons per day. Our treatment facility is equipped with an onsite laboratory that is State of Tennessee approved for bacteria testing. Additionally, we operate eight water storage tanks, six major water booster pump stations, numerous smaller water booster pump stations, and approximately 350 miles of main water transmission lines. We employ the use of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that enables us to remotely monitor and control our water storage tanks and booster pump stations.
Plateau Utility District currently employees 21 full-time and 2 part-time staff members. Five of our employees hold a Tennessee Grade 3 Water Treatment licenses and ten of our employees hold a Tennessee Grade 2 Water Distribution license.
Ross H. Williams, Jr., County Judge, issued an Order creating Plateau Utility District on December 8, 1951 upon petition of large group of citizens in and around Wartburg. The original Board of Commissioners consisted of W.P. Lovelace, President; W.D. Human, Secretary; and Moss Reynolds, Commissioner. Over the course of the following 3 years, the Commissioners commissioned the sale of bonds in the amount of $184,000 for construction of the water system and water became available to the public on November 22, 1954. Mr. A.H. Newberry was employed as the first employee the District and was solely responsible for all operations and maintenance. The original water rates were established as follows:
First 2,000 gallons per month $3.00 Minimum Bill;
Next 8,000 gallons per month $1.00/1,000 gallons;
Next 10,000 gallons per month $0.80/1,000 gallons;
Next 30,000 gallons per month $0.50/1,000 gallons;
Next 50,000 gallons per month $0.40/1,000 gallons; and
Over 100,000 gallons per month $0.30/1,000 gallons.
As originally constructed, the District used groundwater wells as the water supply and operated a groundwater treatment plant located along U.S. Highway 27; just outside of Wartburg. In 1993 the District acquired approximately 30 acres situated between U.S. Highway 27 and State Route 62 and constructed a surface water treatment facility and raw water reservoir. The treatment facility, as originally constructed, was capable of treating 1.6 million gallons per day and the raw water reservoir had a storage volume of 90 million gallons. In 2005, the District expanded the surface water treatment facility to increasing the treatment capacity to 2.4 million gallons per day and the raw water reservoir was expanded to a storage volume of 150 million gallons.