In 2010, Vaughn and Melton was selected by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to prepare a Preliminary Engineering Report, recommend a process, and provide surveying and final design for a new 6.0 MGD wastewater treatment plant. The plant included numerous pump stations both inside the plant footprint and one (Adams Creek Pump Station) outside the plant footprint. The firm was also responsible for providing environmental documents necessary for obtaining a Finding of No Significant Impact. The project involved several meetings with the public and the Environmental Protection Agency in Atlanta. Considerations for sizing the plant included future commercial development, tourism related to the new casino that has recently opened, projected residential growth and others. Five alternatives were studied and presented to the Tribal Council. The selected process was the Modified Ludzak – Ettinger process, which will help safeguard the pristine water quality of the Oconaluftee River. The Modified Ludzak – Ettinger process also was the most economical option for the tribe.
As many of the existing 3.0 MGD plant’s components were used (especially concrete structures) in order to save on construction costs. The project is scheduled to bid in the summer of 2012 with construction being completed in 2014.