Hamilton Kent Blog

Lakewood rehabilitation: What we know

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I recently paid a visit to the Lakewood community in Nashville. The area comprised of almost 1000 homes completed an overhaul of their underground infrastructure last year—which our Lifespan® System was a part of.

My visit was a bit of a follow up on how our systems were working and how the project went overall, and while flow assessments have still yet to be done, here’s what we know so far.

No news is good news

The approved materials committee at Nashville’s Metro Water Services (MWS) used six of The Lifespan® Systems on the quiet Hamblen Avenue.

They were a part of a large scale overhaul of the water and stormwater systems, and an installation of what previously was a non-existent stormwater collection system. The entire project was financed at $13.9 million by MWS according to this report.

The immediate results of the project were measured to lower operations and maintenance costs between $11 000 and $27 000. These cost reductions were due to the elimination of leaky pipes and the installation of watertight solutions which prevent inflow and infiltration. With less water infiltrating into the system, there is a lower volume of wastewater needing treatment.

“The main thing for us is that usually no news is generally good news,” said Greg Ballard, an engineer with Nashville’s Metro Water Services in a phone conversation while speaking about The Lifespan® System’s part in the project. “The contractor had no issues installing the Lifespan® System, and thought everything was fine—the product is there doing its job quietly.”

Why the project was necessary

Lakewood has had an ever changing history, but one thing that did not evolve with the community was its water system.

The system was built in 1918, around the same time as the ranch-style homes, and it was already dated by the time the city was annexed by Nashville and Davidson County in 1961.

The city relied on quick fixes and utilized puddles, pooling water and flooding as its only form of stormwater collections.

Lakewood was responsible for its water distribution network between 1960 to 2000. When the city re-amalgamated into Nashville, Metro Water Services took control of the system which was in a state of disrepair.

For example, more than 84 percent of sewer backups were being caused by tree roots growing through cracks in sewer pipes.

The project plan was to install 7600 feet of valley gutter, 135 catch basins along roadways and 9800 feet of stormwater pipe. Many pipe lines and manholes were not only replaced, but also relocated off of private property to make maintenance less intrusive.

What’s next for Nashville

For now we wait patiently for news and stats from flow assessments on how the project is faring.

“We’re sure that the project has made improvements because the old system was very old, and very leaky—but of course we replaced the entire piping network in that community,” said Ballard.

The updated infrastructure will keep extraneous water out of the water system, and prevent it from causing added costs for treating it.

For more information on watertight solutions and the importance of maintaining underground infrastructure, take a look at the rest of our blogs here.