published Friday, September 9th, 2011

Mercury threatens Eastside, Tennessee-American Water in Chattanooga

  • photo
    Arch Chemicals near the City of Charleston Tenn., looking North. At right in the complex is the Olin Corporation.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Raw water at the Eastside Utility District in Tyner and the Tennessee American Water plant in Chattanooga is being checked three times a day for mercury contamination, according to state officials.

Heavy rains this week forced the overflow of an Olin Corp. treatment lagoon and spilled about 50 pounds of mercury into the Hiwassee River, according to Tisha Calabrese-Benton, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

No test results are in yet, she said, although the testing began yesterday after the mercury overflows began three days ago.

Normally Olin is permitted to release on 70 pounds of mercury in a year, according to Calabrese-Benton.

Olin spokeswoman Elaine Patterson could not be reached for comment.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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blindmouses said...

Pam... A lot of stuff happens to our water supply that we don't know about. I'd like to be able to find out about this issue as soon as possible. I drink bottled water only because of these issues. Please let us know as soon as possible about this mercury issue!

September 9, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.
esaletnik said...

There that go again, the EPA sticking their nose into things and killing jobs. Once the Republicans get rid of the EPA we'll be able to drink all the mercury flavored water we want.

September 9, 2011 at 6:44 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Yep, that pesky government regulation thing again. There is absolutely nothing wrong with releasing 70 POUNDS OF MERCURY PER YEAR into our water supply. Nothing!

As long as it doesn't excede .002 mg/L in our drinking water, we are A okay. Besides, the government isn't sure what toxic effects that it really has. Don't worry.

September 9, 2011 at 10:32 p.m.
rolando said...

That Dubya is still burning us...gotta be his fault somehow. Yeah, right.

Seriously and obviously, have they never heard of Minamata Disease? No wonder the fish are inedible.

September 10, 2011 at 5:07 a.m.
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