Archived Outdoors

Water system upgrades to move forward at Balsam Mountain and Heintooga

Located on the North Carolina side of the park, Balsam Mountain Campground and Heintooga Picnic Area sit at 5,300 feet. NPS photo Located on the North Carolina side of the park, Balsam Mountain Campground and Heintooga Picnic Area sit at 5,300 feet. NPS photo

An environmental assessment investigating potential impacts of water and wastewater system repairs at Balsam Mountain Campground and Heintooga Picnic Area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park came back with a finding of no significant impact, meaning the park can proceed with the project. 

The selected alternative calls for replacing water lines, sewer lines, a well pump and a water storage tank, as well as installing two new conventional septic systems and a quarter-mile gravel access road. The improvements will support visitor services in this remote location by providing safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment and disposal while also reducing system maintenance requirements. 

Located on the North Carolina side of the park at about 5,300 feet in elevation, the campground and picnic area are typically open mid-May through mid-October. To minimize inconvenience to visitors and campers, most construction will occur during the seasonal closure. 

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