proactive. Reactive maintenance has been replaced by systematic data analysis which guides 
preventive maintenance. The infrastructure strategy of maximizing asset longevity is made 
possible by this approach. Data never collected before is now systematically collected. Records 
that were rarely analyzed are now regularly reviewed. Research is conducted on replacement 
parts, alternative operations, and creative ways to extend life cycles. Again, it’s all about the 
EUM mindset. 

Water Reuse  

In the early 2000’s Murfreesboro stood in a place very similar to where we stand today.  Existing and 
anticipated growth in Rutherford County and Murfreesboro was and continues to be a recognized 
economic engine for the State of Tennessee.    Substantial economic and population growth continues at 
a rapid pace, thus demanding that planful, strategic, and sometimes politically sensitive and expensive 
decisions be made.  Our challenge was finding environmentally and politically acceptable avenues for 
disposing of the treated effluent from our Sinking Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (SCWWTP). 

The City’s effluent receiving stream is the West Fork Stones River (WFSR).  The WFSR has for many years 
been a 303d listed stream; impaired for sediment, nutrients and low dissolved oxygen.  With a central 
wastewater treatment plant having its sole outfall on the WFSR, Murfreesboro would ultimately be 
limited by the stream’s assimilative capacity.  Therefore, in order to ensure the long-term 
socioeconomic viability of area, a more progressive and innovative strategy was and continues to be a 
vital objective in achieving true sustainability. 

Our approach began with the purchase of two farms (201 and 408 acres) in 2002 and 2003. The purpose 
of the farms was for dedicated land disposal via irrigation of highly treated effluent.  MWSD then began 
construction of a repurified water distribution system which now consists of two (2) elevated tanks (0.5 
and 1.5 MG), 25 miles of repurified water line, 250 valves and 144 meters.  The system provides 
irrigation water to the farms, our local golf course and soccer complex, multiple City-owned landscapes 
and more than 100 private customers.  One customer, a new apartment complex, installed plumbing for 
repurified water into their apartments to accommodate toilet flushing. 

From 2011-2016, the annual average daily flow of repurified water for irrigation and other purposes 
ranged from 3.3-4.5 MGD, representing 22.4-28.7% of our treatment plant effluent flow.   

By partnering with key stakeholders, the City charted a way forward to not only achieve sustainability in 
wastewater effluent management, but do it in a way that integrates the full array of water resources 
available within the watershed.  Additionally, as sustainability strategies were derived, the City 
continually focused on maintaining affordability as a co-priority for its customers. 

The ongoing challenge is working within the existing regulatory framework to meet the immediate 
expansion needs of the SCWWTP, and developing a reliable “bridge” between pragmatic, proven 
approaches and the regulatory community’s permitting “box”.  Fulfilling the mission of enduring 
sustainability (i.e., 50+ years) to meet the watershed’s long-term water needs requires a fully integrated 
watershed approach. 

Watershed Stewardship 
Authentic Watershed Stewardship consists of intentional actions to maintain and hopefully improve 
water quality in the watershed.  In the early 2000’s, WFSR Segment 3000 was 303d listed as impaired