Consent Decree

The City of Memphis, like a lot of cities across the nation, has an aging wastewater collection and transmission system (WCTS).  This WCTS consists mostly of buried pipes, concrete manholes for maintenance access, and pumping stations with pressure force mains.  Much of the City’s WCTS was built well over 100 years ago.  Over time, pipes deteriorate, joints break apart, roots penetrate pipes, corrosion causes pipes and manholes to degrade and/or oil and grease can clog the sewer.  As a result, the City could experience line stoppages that in turn result in sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).  The City negotiated an agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to implement an investigation and rehabilitation program with the objective to eliminate SSOs.  This agreement was finalized in a Consent Decree (CD) which was signed by Judge Hardy Mays, Jr. on September 20, 2012.  The City of Memphis is legally obligated to implement this program and over the next 10 years is expected to spend approximately $250,000,000.

A copy of the CD and related material are included on this webpage and are also on file in the Memphis Shelby County Room fourth floor of the City of Memphis Main Library located at 3030 Poplar Avenue.