Dayton Replaces Pocket Wilderness Water Source for new Tennessee River Source 1965

Dayton Replaces Pocket Wilderness Water Source for new Tennessee River Source 1965

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 19,1965, open house and tours of Dayton’s new $800,000 water filter plant and the new water intake from the Tennessee River was held. The new plant was located on Armstrong Ferry Road just a half mile from the intake on the river.  Also, a new 500,000-gallon storage tank on Black Oak Ridge was placed into service.

The new plant replaced the old system built in 1911, which held a capacity of only 500,00 gallons daily. The old system was gravity fed and required supplemental pumping from a mountain stream in the Pocket Wilderness area. The water from the gulf was treated at a plant located on top of Sentinel Heights (shown in photo below) and pumped into a 500,000 gallon storage tank next to the plant.

Dayton’s water supply was becoming inadequate and would not receive State approval without major repairs. The city had attempted time and time again to repair the old filtering plant but never reached a score high enough to become approved by the state.

The problem was evident to everyone, but the solution was not. Local financing seemed impossible. In November of 1962, the City Commission applied for this Accelerated Public Works Grant and after three trips to Washington, D.C., many trips to Atlanta to the Community Facilities Administration, the project was approved over a year later. Construction began in April of 1964 and was completed in August of 1965.

In 1965, the new 2.2 million gallons per day filter plant, supplied with water pumped from the Tennessee River through a 14-inch water main, greatly improved the water supply to the citizens of Dayton. Today, the City of Dayton serves water to over 8000 customers which represents a population of 23,000 persons in Rhea and Bledsoe counties.

Dayton Water Plant

                                                               Dayton’s old water treatment plant located at Sentinel Heights served from 1911 -1965. (Photos courtesy of Glass Family)

 

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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

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