Environment And Conservation Reissues Recreational Water Contact Advisory For Portion Of New River In The Big South Fork

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has reissued a recreational water contact advisory for the lower portion of the New River, including a section within the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, due to operational failures at the Huntsville, Tn., wastewater treatment plant.  TDEC issued a similar advisory in March 2012 and rescinded when the treatment plant’s performance returned to compliance.

The public is cautioned to avoid recreational uses of this portion of the New River, which is downstream from river mile 14.8.  The advisory pertains to all water contact activities such as kayaking, swimming and fishing. 

The Huntsville plant’s membrane filter process is experiencing mechanical problems, resulting in reduced levels of wastewater treatment.  Because of the proximity of the discharge to the Big South Fork National Recreation Area, the department made the decision to issue the advisory.  Huntsville, its consultants and the filter supplier are working together to restore the ability of the facility to adequately treat wastewater and meet water quality standards.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is providing oversight and technical support to the impacted system and will continue monitoring water quality closely.  When the risk to public health has been eliminated, the advisory will be lifted.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, illnesses can be caused by germs that are spread by swallowing or having other contact with contaminated water.  These illnesses can cause several types of symptoms, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections, but the most commonly reported is diarrhea. Even healthy swimmers can get sick, but the young, elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

If water contact cannot be avoided, or if you are unsure of the cleanliness of the water you have contacted, the best thing to do is wash with clean water and soap.  Ingestion of contaminated water and exposure to open cuts or scrapes would be the greatest cause for concern from a health standpoint. 

Once the sources of bacteriological contamination are eliminated, there should be no long-term environmental impacts to the river. 


TWRA To Conduct Roadblocks On Agency Controlled Lands

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is planning to conduct roadblocks on several TWRA controlled or managed lands during the upcoming hunting seasons. TWRA controlled and managed lands include Wildlife Management Areas, public hunting areas, wildlife refuges and other properties under agency ownership or control including TVA property, Corps of Engineer lands, and the Cherokee ... (click for more)

New Task Force Focuses On Community Involved Bear Management

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency along with multiple partners have developed a new task force to focus on bear management in Sevier County and surrounding communities.  This new educational initiative is being referred to as the BearWise Task Force and is sponsored by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The program focuses on informing the ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)