Cleveland Utilities official retires

Cleveland Utilities official retires

January 4th, 2013 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

The Cleveland Utilities headquarters is in Cleveland, Tenn.

Photo by Harrison Keely/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The Cleveland Utilities Board officially has bid farewell to 41-year service veteran Rick Lawson, who served as the utility's manager of administrative services for the last 20 years.

On Thursday, Lawson received a plaque commemorating the "dedication and distinction" in which he has served since starting as a groundman in the line department in February 1972.

"[The Board of Public Utilities] hereby extends its heartfelt thanks and tremendous appreciation to Rick Lawson for his dedication and devotion to Cleveland Utilities during his many years of service, and to let him know that he will be greatly missed," said Tom Wheeler, president and CEO of Cleveland Utilities

In other business, officials discussed a number of projects on tap for Cleveland Utilities' water division.

Long-term programs to rehabilitate the division's water and sewage system are moving forward, said Craig Mullinax, vice president of the water division. Meanwhile, design work has started in relation to several Tennessee Department of Transportation projects in Bradley County.

A number of proposed road improvements will require Cleveland Utilities to relocate water lines between exit 20 on Interstate 75 and a new interchange on APD 40, to the east. The road improvements are being made in conjunction with the development of the Spring Branch Industrial Park.

The work, said Mullinax, will require 2,250 feet of 12-inch water mains to be moved at exit 20. Both projects will be paid for by TDOT.

Cleveland Utilities also will need to relocate over one mile of water lines in the vicinity of Benton Pike and Durkee Road, said Mullinax. The work is estimated to cost $400,000 and must be performed prior to TDOT efforts to improve the safety and capacity of those roads, which serve the new Whirlpool site in Cleveland.

The water division recently has completed restorative work regarding its Weeks Drive storage tank, making it the ninth tank to undergo rehabilitative operations in four years, said Mullinax. Only four tanks remain to receive restorative treatments, which include applying special paints to tank interiors.

Cleveland Utilities' 10-year initiative to rehabilitate its wastewater system -- known as the "Strategic Commitment to Protect the Environment," or SCOPE-10 -- is in full swing, according to Greg Clark, who manages the project.

The project's goal is to reduce sewage overflows by reducing the amount of stormwater infiltration into the sewer network through damaged pipes and manholes. While SCOPE-10 does not intend to fix every leak into the wastewater system, officials mean for it to cure the worst offenders.

To meet that end, contractor Insituform installs resin-enriched felt sleeves within the most damaged pipes, said Clark. Once cured with 250-degree steam, the pipes are sealed, essentially creating a "pipe within a host pipe."

The next move, said Clark, is to perform water flow tests to see how well the resin-felt seals work.

"We need to perform flow monitoring and see if we're really making a difference," said Clark.