A sewage pumping station located near Christ Presbyterian Academy stopped working for several hours about two weeks ago, causing backed up sewage to spill out through manholes around the pumping station and at a location on Hillsboro Road.

The station, owned by the City of Brentwood and managed by Nashville, was down for about 14 hours on Sunday, July 15. The system’s check valves caused the malfunction. 

Maintenance crews from Metro Nashville’s Water Department responded initially, shutting down the valves. Eventually they got the station running again. 

Staff from Brentwood started cleaning up the area and notified the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation about the overflow. They pumped pooled sewage back into the sewer system, and then applied lime and straw to the area.

City Commissioner Mark Gorman posted about the overflow on Facebook. His post included photos from before and after the cleanup.

According to the city, TDEC inspected the site on July 18 and collected samples from the nearby Little Harpeth River. The agency determined that the initial results don’t indicate any immediate health or environmental concerns.

The station that overflowed pumps sewage from Brentwood to a treatment plant in Metro Nashville. Brentwood doesn’t have its own sewage treatment plant.

This is the same area that had problems with overflows due to rainwater entering the systems around 2006. In May 2006, TDEC issued an agreed order to Brentwood and Metro Nashville directing them to keep rainwater from entering the system.

Since 2006, Brentwood has carried out a sewer rehabilitation program to fix the problem. Last year, the city lined larger pipelines along the Little Harpeth River in areas of Brentwood Country Club and west of Wildwood Valley Drive and various sewer collector lines in Maryland Farms.

The sewer rehabilitation started in the early 1990s, but the program was expanded after the 2006 order. The $30 million dollar plan is expected to continue through 2019.

The overflow this year was due to a mechanical failure, not the amount of rainwater entering the system. 

The wastewater agreement between Brentwood and Nashville states that Nashville is responsible for operation, maintenance and repairs. But maintenance costs are shared based on how much Brentwood uses the pump station.