Metro Water Services


Nashville, TN


Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Inspection, Wastewater Engineering

Like many cities across the country, Nashville’s sewer system lacks the capacity to handle current sanitary sewer volumes, especially in times of wet weather. This often results in sanitary sewer overflows into the Cumberland River and the city’s other rivers, creeks and tributaries. Through the Clean Water Nashville Overflow Abatement Program (OAP), Metro Nashville Water Services (MWS) is seeking to design and construct system improvements in a cost-effective way to help reduce overflows and health risks while improving water quality.

Since 2011, Gresham Smith has been working with MWS as construction manager for the $1.5 billion program, helping to manage a range of projects underway. Working together, we’ll help the City meet the Clean Water Act requirements as negotiated with the US EPA, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and ultimately create a healthier environment for all Nashvillians.

program includes wastewater pumping, storage, conveyance and rehabilitation projects
manholes rehabilitated as of January 2023
miles of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) as of January 2023

Partnering for Success

Gresham Smith has partnered with MWS and has made progress in achieving the milestones and mandates outlined in the Consent Decree. We oversee project implementation using proven project controls and cost-tracking systems as well as through a change management program. Our scope of work includes:

  • Constructability reviews of project designs
  • Field engineering
  • Daily direct observation and documentation of project construction
  • Regular reporting and progress tracking
  • Implementation of corrective action plans for dynamic projects that encounter scheduling challenges
  • Construction quality assurance/quality control and safety programs
  • Assist with public relations and customer communications
  • Advise Owner with regards to contractor issues to avoid claims and delays

In Working Order – System Rehabilitation

Inflow and infiltration (I&I): two words you likely hear often when talking about aging sanitary sewer systems. Older pipes are more prone to cracks, blockages and other issues that allow stormwater and debris to enter, increasing the chances for overflows.

Gresham Smith has been managing construction rehabilitation projects across Davidson county. As of January 2023, rehabilitation projects including repairs for more than 175 miles of gravity sewer and force mains, over 6,000 manholes and 15,000 service lateral renewals.


Managing the Flow

Stormwater is not the only thing at fault when it comes to overflows. Nashville needs more capacity for wastewater to help address sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). We’ve been managing the construction for several conveyance projects throughout the Metro area that are upsizing pipes, helping the city better go with the flow.

Pumping Up Performance

Pump stations and equalization basins are critical to managing the collection system within the MWS service area as well. Gresham Smith has managed construction efforts for facilities that are strategically placed around Nashville to help temporarily store and “shave the peak flow,” then systematically release flow back to the downstream facilities, thus eliminating overflows.

Gresham Smith staff, serving as the construction managers for the Clean Water Nashville Program, have been prompt and responsive to the concerns of our constituents; this attention to detail has helped to minimize the escalation of concerns and positively promotes our program in the community. Greg Ballard Program Manager, Overflow Abatement, Metro Water Services