Water Treatment & Distribution

Your drinking water travels a complex path before it comes out of your faucet. Gallatin's water comes from Old Hickory Lake, which is surface water. Water is pumped from the lake to the water treatment plant for intensive processing to meet Federal drinking water standards. The treated (potable) water is then pumped to our approximately 16,000 customers through a complex series of pipes and storage tanks known as the water distribution system. We also provide water to the Town of Westmoreland and the Castalian Springs/Bethpage Utility District.
Gallatin's drinking water, which is surface water, is withdrawn through an intake on the Cumberland River (Old Hickory Lake) and pumped to the water treatment plant. Once the raw water reaches the treatment plant it goes through several steps before being sent out to our customers. In the flash mix powdered activated carbon is added to the raw water (to aid in taste and odor control), the raw water is pre-chlorinated, and polyaluminum chloride is added to aide in settling. Once these chemicals are added to the raw water it proceeds through areas called flocculation basins and begins the sedimentation process (where small particles bind together forming larger particles which are allowed to settle to the bottom of the basin). The settled water then flows into the plant's filtration system where any remaining particles are removed and the water becomes crystal clear. At this point the water receives post chlorination (to help prevent bacteria from developing), Aquadene (for corrosion control), and flouride (to help in preventing tooth decay). The treated water is now finished water and flows into a clear well to be pumped into the water distribution system. The water distribution system consists of water mains (pipes that transport the water) and water storage tanks (which provide capacity in the event of an emergency) to get the water to your meter.
Drinking Water - How It Gets to Your Faucet
Gallatin Public Utilities modern water treatment plant currently produces an average of 6 to 8 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water (depending on the season). It has the capacity to treat and pump up to 16 million gallons of water per day. The Department currently maintains approximately 337 miles of various sized water distribution mains, 5 water storage tanks. 1816 fire hydrants, and 2 water pumping facilities.