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

Friday, December 07, 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  TDEC issued a similar advisory in March 2012 and rescinded when the treatment plant’s performance returned to compliance.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. 


Land Trust For Tennessee And Mountain Goat Trail Alliance Host Sneak-Peek Hike

The Land Trust for Tennessee and the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance are co-hosting  a summer hike to give locals a sneak peek of a soon-to-be protected property that adds 20 miles to the Mountain Goat Trail (MGT) project.  The hike will also celebrate the enhancement of local outdoor recreation, the conservation of our natural wonders and the way of life on the ... (click for more)

Crabtree Farms Offers Fall Gardening Workshop

In response to a growing interest in fall backyard gardening, local non-profit, Crabtree Farms is offering educational opportunities and affordable, healthy plant starts to help Chattanoogans grow their own food this fall.   “While most people are excited to plant their gardens in spring or summer, there is a growing number of people who realize that they can enjoy ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (4)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)