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Clarksville Gas and Water Department looks back at historic Flood of 2010


Clarksville Gas and Water Department Employees overcame adverse circumstances during Recovery

Clarksville Gas and Water Department - CGWClarksville, TN – Clarksville Gas and Water Department (CGW) employees vividly recall the weekend leading up to Monday, May 3rd, 2010, when extreme rainfall caused the historic Great Flood of 2010.

Wastewater treatment plant workers remember standing by helplessly as floodwaters from the swollen Cumberland River and Red River breached the plant’s levees.

Flooding at the Clarksville wastewater treatment plant in May 2010.

Flooding at the Clarksville wastewater treatment plant in May 2010.

It was a devastating sight for them as their workplace and home away from home went under water. Floodwaters also had inundated pump stations in the wastewater collection system throughout Clarksville.

Prior to the levee breach, wastewater treatment staff had vigilantly monitored rising river levels and began moving equipment to safe ground. As the Cumberland River surged toward a level of more than 60 feet, managers notified the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation and began an emergency action plan to shut down and evacuate the plant.

Soon after, the wastewater plant was inundated. The following days of disaster recovery proved to be the biggest challenge that plant employees would witness in their careers.

An aerial view of the Clarksville wastewater treatment plant during the Flood of 2010.

An aerial view of the Clarksville wastewater treatment plant during the Flood of 2010.

When floodwaters receded, the plant’s levee acted as a bowl and held the water, requiring around-the-clock pumping. CGW hired two engineering firms and began assessing the damage to the plant and collection system.

The goal was to protect public health by working with TDEC to quickly restore emergency wastewater treatment. Managers and employees pulled together to reestablish primary treatment within 10 days of the shutdown. It took another three months to bring secondary treatment online.

The floodwaters also damaged some of the collection system’s pumping stations. Temporary bypass pumps were brought in to help keep the flow of wastewater moving while the stations were being rebuilt.

“Employees worked long hours under very adverse circumstances to ensure the wastewater treatment plant’s vital processes were restored expediently for public safety after the 2010 flood. We continue to applaud them for their selfless efforts,” said Mark Riggins, Gas & Water General Manager.

“It was a monumental effort by Gas & Water managers, employees and City officials working in concert with TDEC and FEMA over several years to bring the plant to its modern and more effective treatment process,” Riggins stated.

The Clarksville wastewater treatment plant is approved for treating 25 million gallons per day (MGD) and has the ability to peak for short periods at 75 MGD.

The Clarksville wastewater treatment plant after reconstruction.

The Clarksville wastewater treatment plant after reconstruction.

It was initially built in 1963 and has undergone a number of upgrades, with the most recent occurring after the 2010 flood. The current average daily demand is approximately 13 MGD during dry weather and peaks in the mid 60’s MGD during wet weather. The wastewater collection system consists of 806 miles of gravity mains, 231 lift stations, 177 miles of force (pressure) mains, and 19,079 manholes.


About Clarksville Gas and Water

Clarksville Gas and Water Department South Service CenterClarksville Gas and Water is proud to safely and efficiently deliver natural gas, water and sewer services to the citizens of Clarksville-Montgomery County by a courteous and professional team of knowledgeable employees.

Natural gas service is also provided to Robertson and Cheatham counties in Tennessee, Christian and Todd counties in Kentucky and to the Fort Campbell, Kentucky military installation.

CGW is also home to the City Engineering Office that provides expert design and support for water and sewer system capital improvement projects.

Clarksville Gas and Water Department’s main office is located at 2215 Madison Street, Clarksville, Tennessee. The phone is 931.645.7400. Hours are 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday.

For an emergency after hours, call 931.645.0116, 4:30pm-8:00am Weekends and Holidays.

For more information about Clarksville Gas and Water, visit their website at




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