State Oks Franklin to Increase Wastewater Discharge into Harpeth

FRANKLIN, TN — The City of Franklin will be able to dump more of its wastewater into the Harpeth River under a permit issued Thursday by the state.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation approved the city’s application to discharge 16 million gallons of wastewater per day into the river, 4 million more gallons than was authorized under its existing permit, which was issued in 2010, when the city’s population was 62,487. The latest estimates put the population around 77,000. (For more updates on this story and free news alerts for your neighborhood, sign up for your local Middle Tennessee Patch morning newsletter.)

Franklin is building a $100 million water treatment plant and had sought the permit to keep up with demands from its growing population, but a lawsuit from the Harpeth River Watershed Association caused delays. The HRWA was particularly concerned about increase pollutants, especially phosphorus.

Under the 2010 permit, Franklin was permitted to discharge 5 milligrams of phosphorus per liter. Under the new permit, which goes into effect July 1, the level is 1.7 milligrams, though TDEC told The Tennessean that’s essentially an equivalent level under a new measurement system and that Franklin has consistently been below that number.

The new permit expires June 30, 2022.

Image via Shutterstock

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