Cumberland Helps County Avoid Water Outage

Quick action taken by Cumberland Fossil Plant averted a possible water outage for thousands of homes and businesses in Houston County, Tennessee and portions of two other counties.

Quick action taken by Cumberland Fossil Plant averted a possible water outage for thousands of homes and businesses in Houston County, Tennessee and portions of two other counties.

In a short period leading up to Feb. 9, all three of the water pumps failed at the City of Erin Water Department, which provides water to Houston County, the city of Cumberland, the city of Tennessee Ridge, and portions of Montgomery and Dickson counties.

Without the pumps, the water department had to rely on what was available in their water storage tank. Officials called the plant, asking that it reduce water use so there would be a sufficient amount for homes and a nearby hospital until at least one pump could be restored.

“As we discussed the inconvenience the water outage was to the plant personnel, the conversation quickly turned to our mission of service to the Valley and just being a good neighbor,” explained Fred Carder, Jr., Cumberland assistant plant manager.

Maintenance employees at the plant knew that a motor rebuild would take several days, which could pose a serious problem, resulting in water being shut off to homes. They checked the Cumberland inventory but didn’t have a similar pump to give to the county. However, they did find a new pump at nearby Gallatin Fossil Plant that would work. Employees quickly arranged to have that pump expedited to Erin’s water department.

The effort was made possible through the cooperative effort of Cumberland, Gallatin and the TVA Supply Chain organizations.

“The City of Erin would like to acknowledge the diligent actions and efforts of Assistant Plant Manager Fred Carder, Jr., and other employees of the Cumberland Fossil Plant with their quick response in assisting the City of Erin Water Department in a time of need,” said Phillip Baggett, Water Department superintendent.

“Due to a variety of circumstances, the Water Treatment Plant lost all three of the high-service pumps used to produce potable water over the course of three days beginning on February 6. These individuals at TVA located a pump motor for use at the Water Treatment Plant in a matter of hours. Their efforts are deeply appreciated by the City of Erin Water Department. Because of the quick response time in locating a pump motor, very few customers were without water.” 

Carder added, “Dedication to serving the people of the Valley, and creative thinking, made this a happy ending.”