The Gatlinburg Water Treatment Plant is located on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River at the West boundary of the City of Gatlinburg and adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The watershed supplying the Little Pigeon River to this point is entirely within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. The water entering the treatment facility is naturally very clean and pure due to the undeveloped national park upstream.
The original Water Treatment Plant was commissioned in 1950 as a one million gallon per day facility, which was upgraded in 1966 to two million gallons per day. The secondary source for Gatlinburg’s water system is the purchase of water from Pigeon Forge at an average annual rate of 250,000 gallons per day with a peak single day purchase of up to two million gallons. The Gatlinburg Water Treatment Plant annually produces in excess of 800 million gallons of water and purchases approximately 90 million gallons per year from Pigeon Forge. Through the hard work of its employees, the Gatlinburg Water Treatment Plant operates at an annual efficiency rate of over 96% daily production.
The Gatlinburg Water system has received exceptional grading scores from the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment and in the years 1995, 1997, and 2000, received perfect scores of 100, placing the Gatlinburg Water System among the best water systems in the State of Tennessee. In 1997 the Gatlinburg Water System was chosen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from among over 1,000 water systems to receive a “Safe Drinking Water Act Excellence Award.” The Gatlinburg Water System currently has 22 water storage reservoirs with a total storage capacity of over 6.5 million gallons.