City OF OAK RIDGE and DOE Agree to Long-Term Water Contract Extension


June 16, 2017

The City of Oak Ridge and the U.S. Department of Energy have reached agreement for a long-term extension of a contract in which the City provides potable water to DOE sites in Oak Ridge. The contract extension, adopted by the Oak Ridge City Council on June 15, 2017, provides for a continuous supply of potable water to DOE sites through June 2027.

“This represents the continuing commitment and partnership DOE has with the City of Oak Ridge,” said DOE Oak Ridge Office Manager Dr. Ken Tarcza. DOE is the largest customer of the city’s utility, representing 50 percent of the water treatment plant’s annual production of potable water. “This was a team effort by the City and DOE to reach a long-term agreement that ensures a continuous supply of water to critical DOE missions at a proper and fair price,” added Tarcza.

The City of Oak Ridge has maintained a water services contract with the DOE Oak Ridge Office since May 2000, when the ownership of the water treatment facility was transferred from DOE to the City of Oak Ridge. The facility provides potable water to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. The two sites’ annual water needs account for 50 percent of the total amount of potable water produced by the City, resulting in DOE paying for 50 percent of the costs incurred by the City to produce water. DOE owns, operates, and maintains its own distribution system for the DOE sites, independent of the City-owned distribution system, which is maintained by the City’s Public Works Department.

"This agreement is the culmination of months of detailed analysis and discussion by the parties," said City Manager Mark Watson. "Both groups recognize that there are many potential capital needs in the future and this contract provides the flexibility to address those issues as they come forward. I also appreciate the outstanding effort of the City's team led by Finance Director Janice McGinnis and Public Works Director Shira McWaters. Their dedication, along with that of the DOE team, allowed both organizations to put forth an agreement that will serve us for years to come."