The Clarksville Water System (CWS), a division of the Clarksville Gas & Water Department, is one of the largest drinking water utilities in Tennessee. CWS currently provides safe drinking water that meets or exceeds regulations established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to an estimated population of 250,000+ consumers in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area. 

South Clarksville Water Treatment


Clarksville Water System Brief Historical Timeline

July 1, 1893 The Clarksville Water Company (est. 1879) was transferred to the Clarksville city government. The City of Clarksville paid off a $32,000 mortgage and assumed other debts the old water company carried. A new Water Superintendent was hired and paid $1,200 annually. 

1894 Public water fountains for “man and beast” were installed on the Public Square near the Market House and on 3rd Street near the court house.

1896 Waterlines were extended and additional pressure was supplied to 97 fireplugs via a water standpipe.

1911 A new waterworks was commissioned on Front Street. The property for the waterworks along the Cumberland River was purchased from W.J. Manning for $1,384.13. This facility provided water to the people of Clarksville for 40 years. 

1911 The Waterworks Superintendent was given the authority to appoint a Water Inspector. The water Inspector’s role was “to inspect the fixtures of the Waterworks, enter upon any lot, building, or premises where water is used, inspect water fixtures and order such repairs as will prevent waste and misuse of water. He shall wear in plain view upon the lapel of his coat a badge with the words Water Inspector inscribed thereon.” The Water Inspector’s salary was $50/month.

1937 The worst flood in Clarksville history occurred on January 18, 1937. The Clarksville Waterworks (filtration plant) was flooded and shut down for a period. While the facility was shut down, water was transported via railcar from Nashville to the people of Clarksville.

1951 A new 4 MGD water treatment plant (now called South Clarksville Water Treatment Plant) was commissioned. The construction cost of the new water treatment plant was $2,650,000. The water treatment plant has had several expansions and technological upgrades since and still supplies water to people in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area.

Water Operations Division

The Water Operations Division of CWS has three subdivisions that manage all aspects of the water system: Water Treatment, Water Distribution, and Water Construction. The Water Operations Division’s duties are to treat and deliver clean, safe water to your meter. Our dedicated employees work around the clock to ensure we provide the best product (meeting or exceeding all regulations) to you, our valued customer. 

Under the direction of the Clarksville Gas and Water Department’s General Manager, the Clarksville Water System is managed by the following personnel.

Water Operations Division Manager – Chris Lambert, chris.lambert@cityofclarksville.com

Water Operations Division Asst. Manager – Chris Cherry, chris.cherry@cityofclarksville.com

Water Treatment

Being a thriving community brings demands of clean, palatable water. It all begins at the drinking water treatment facilities. Clarksville is blessed with an abundance of excellent, treatable source water, the lower Cumberland River.

South Clarksville Water Treatment Plant

Originally constructed in 1951, the South Clarksville Water Treatment Plant (SCWTP) is now a state-of-the-art microfiltration membrane facility that is rated at 30 million-gallons/day (MGD). The surface water treatment plant is equipped with conventional pretreatment (coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation) prior to microfiltration.

Raw water is pumped to the plant from the Cumberland River. A positively-charged coagulant is added to the water causing the negatively-charged colloidal particles in the raw water to attract and form ionic bonds (coagulation). Sodium permanganate is dosed to oxidize soluble inorganic and even some organic materials. Adding an oxygen molecule makes many of these dissolved materials insoluble and easier to coagulate, flocculate and settle with the other colloidal particles. 

The flocculation process increases the size and weight of the coagulated particles, which later settle in large sedimentation basins. Settled water is then micro-filtered, removing the smallest particles that remain. The microfiltration process removes all particulates greater than 0.1 micron in size and provides a direct barrier against many bacteria, protozoa, and some viruses. 

Learn more: Facts about Cryptosporidium and Giardia

After filtration, sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) is added to the water to effectively disinfect all pathogens that may be still present. Fluoride is added to the finished water, which helps keep teeth strong and reduces cavities. 

Food-grade ortho-polyphosphate is also added to the finished water before being pumped into the water distribution system. A protective layer of orthophosphate inhibits corrosion in water mains and services and provides a microscopic barrier between the pipe material and the drinking water. 

Learn more: Lead and galvanized pipe materials.

Solids produced during water treatment processes described above are currently sent to the Clarksville Wastewater Collections System and eventually treated at the Clarksville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Tours are given of the SCWTP facility. If you are interested in a tour, contact our SCWTP Manager, Phillip Whittinghill, at phil.whittinghill@cityofclarksville.com.

North Clarksville Water Treatment Plant

Due to the significant residential, commercial and industrial growth in Clarksville Water System’s service area, a new additional water treatment plant became necessary to provide additional capacity while adding some redundancy. Construction of the new surface water treatment plant is underway. It is anticipated that the plant will be in operation mid to late 2025. The initial design rating of the North Clarksville Water Treatment Plant (NCWTP) is 12 MGD with expansion capabilities to 36 MGD. 

The new NCWTP will operate with a similar conventional treatment/membrane filtration train as the South Clarksville Water Treatment Plant, but will have some additional treatment capabilities. The NCWTP will be equipped with a pre-treatment oxidation basin and post-filtration Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment. GAC contactors are being added to prepare for anticipated future regulations such as removal of PFOS/PFOA, cyanotoxins, and pharmaceuticals. The new facility will also be equipped with new chemistry, microbiological, and volatile organic and inorganic chemistry laboratories. The NCWTP will also have solids handling facilities that will allow the plant to operate without process water/solids discharge to the Clarksville Wastewater Collections System.

Water Treatment Plant Staffing

The water treatment facilities are staffed by industry professionals in four areas: Administration, Operations, Laboratories, and Maintenance. All new staff members are placed on a pathway of training and classes that prepare them for Tennessee Grade IV Water Treatment Plant Operator and Grade II Water Distribution System Operator certification exams. Upon completion of the new NCWTP, both facilities will employ a total of 33 full-time around-the-clock staff members.

If you have questions or concerns about water quality, our staff will gladly assist you. Please contact us at (931) 553-2440.

To view Clarksville’s required water quality sampling schedule, please visit the TDEC website. A link is provided below.

Water System Details

Clarksville Water Quality Reports

SCWTP Manager – Phillip Whittinghill, phil.whittinghill@cityofclarksville.com

SCWTP Asst. Manager – Adam Collins, adam.collins@cityofclarksville.com

NCWTP Manager – Randall Gillum, randall.gillum@cityofclarksville.com

Water Distribution

The Water Distribution System is comprised of 15 water storage facilities, 4 water booster stations, over 1,100 miles of water main lines, and over 80,000 water service connections.

The Water Distribution System is staffed by 10 full-time industry professionals performing multiple duties including management and maintenance of pump stations, water tanks and other appurtenances, testing approximately 8,000 backflow prevention devices annually (and managing the Cross-Connection Control Program), performing duties associated with the Flushing Program, etc. This group also assists customers with pressure complaints. All staff members in this group are certified Grade II Water Distribution System Operators.

If you have a question regarding your water pressure, cross connections, backflow prevention, or thermal expansion, please contact the Water Distribution Group at (931) 553-2497 or (931) 553-2489 for assistance.

Water Distribution System Manager - Angel Goike, angel.goike@cityofclarksville.com

Water Distribution System Asst. Manager – Josh Rau, josh.rau@cityofclarksville.com

Water Construction

Water Construction is the most publicly visible of all the above Water Operations Division groups and is staffed by 41 full-time industry professionals performing management and construction repairs/maintenance to approximately 1,100 miles of water main lines, 16,000 water valves, 8,000 hydrants/flushing devices, and over 80,000 utility-side water services (including some meters). Water Construction also manages the Water Loss Mitigation Program and Valve Maintenance Program among various other duties.

If you need to call to report a suspected water leak, please call (931) 645-1857.

Water Construction Manager – Jason Fisher, jason.fisher@cityofclarksville.com

Water Construction Asst. Manager – Dustin Jackson, dustin.jackson@cityofclarksville.com