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  TDEC issued a similar advisory in March 2012 and rescinded when the treatment plant’s performance returned to compliance.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


2017-18 Waterfowl, Migratory Bird Hunting Proposals Presented At Commission Meeting

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission was presented a preview of the 2017-18 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting seasons at its first meeting of 2017. The one-day meeting was held Friday (Jan. 13) at the Bass Pro Shops in the Pyramid. The presentation in regard to waterfowl and other migratory birds was made at the January meeting due to recent changes in the timing ... (click for more)

Smoky Mountains National Park’s Record Visitation Proves It Is “One Of America’s Greatest Treasures”

Senator Lamar Alexander on Friday praised employees and volunteers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for their work in welcoming a record 11,312,785 visitors to the park in 2016, the U.S. National Park Service Centennial. “Documentarian Ken Burns said the national parks are ‘America’s best idea,’ so the Great Smoky Mountains National Park must be ‘America’s very ... (click for more)

Man Killed By Officers After Pursuit Tuesday Night In Soddy Daisy

A man was killed by officers on Tuesday night after a long chase that ended in Soddy Daisy. The shooting incident happened around 7 p.m. The chase started shortly after 5 p.m. Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies were involved in the shooting. No officers were injured. The Sheriff's Office said m ultiple law enforcement agencies responded to the ... (click for more)

City Council Told Cost Has Soared For Moving Sewer Line Off Tubman Industrial Site

City Council members were told on Tuesday that the cost has soared for moving a sewer line completely off the Harriet Tubman industrial site. Bill Payne, city engineer, said it initially was around $1.5 million, but is now pegged at over $4 million. Councilman Chris Anderson, who heads the council's economic development committee, said the assertion brought "stunned looks" ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech - And Response

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Protest? Get Paid!

In a troubling time when “false news” is the rage and people ask me – to my face – if anybody from Russia ever approached me personally searching for votes for President-elect Donald Trump, there appears a website that, to cop a phrase, “is too good to be true.” There is a group out of California that allegedly wants to hire “operatives” to protest Friday’s inauguration. Forget ... (click for more)