Michael Patrick has been named the executive director of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority after having served in an interim role for the past several weeks.
The authority's board of commissioners voted on the position Wednesday.
Patrick was named acting director in February after Mark Harrison resigned. Harrison's departure came after months of controversy in the Ooltewah area, where WWTA proposed to build a new sewage treatment plant off Mahan Gap Road.
Critics attacked the plan and the Hamilton County Commission, which had final say over the matter, voted against the authority's request in December. But WWTA has contended that without new sewers, growth in the county will be stopped or significantly slowed.
Patrick has served as WWTA's chief engineer since 2017. Before that, he worked as director of Chattanooga's Waste Resources Division, where he was responsible for the overall operation of the city's Regional Wastewater Collection and Treatment system.
In his new role, he will lead the agency as it enters into an expected federal consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while also grappling with rapid growth in eastern Hamilton County.
In a statement Wednesday, WWTA Board Chairman Mike Moon said Patrick's leadership is the right fit at a critical time for the agency.
"His extensive knowledge of both the city and county's sewer infrastructure as well as working to complete the city's consent decree is extremely valuable to us," he said.