Chattanooga could face fines for massive sewage spill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga could face fines for massive sewage spill

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Raw sewage leaking into water Raw sewage leaking into water
Fish killed due to sewage leak Fish killed due to sewage leak
Crews working to remove dead fish Crews working to remove dead fish
Picture taken Thursday of sewage spill source Picture taken Thursday of sewage spill source

By Callie Starnes

Eyewitness News Reporter/Anchor

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - The summer heat only amplifies the smell floating over the Brown's Ferry Marina.

"Between the dead fish and the sewage, it was unbearable," said boater Bob Clayton, "it's still pretty bad."

One look at the shoreline and you'll find the culprit.

"You can still see on the bank toilet paper and waste," said Clayton.

Raw sewage spewed from a man hole Thursday after a water treatment sub-station lost power. A total of 100,000 gallons of human waste spilled into the marina.

David Schrimpsher took our crew out on the water to show us the extent of the damage.

TWRA estimates more than 3,600 fish have died.

The city's sub-station does not have back up power, allowing the sludge to flow for nearly 14 hours.

"We just never have had an issue like this," said Jerry Stewart, "I don't think we've ever had a situation where we've had a fish kill."

Jerry Stewart, with Chattanooga's Waste Resource Division, says the city is considering purchasing a secondary generator.

For now, state agencies are focused on clearing the water and saving wildlife.

A private company spent the day scooping fish from the water and spreading a disinfectant.

But boaters worry about what's headed downstream and say the city should have initiated a quicker response.

"They was called and they wasn't on it, but they on it now. So hopefully they'll get it cleaned up," says Schrimpsher.

T-DEC is monitoring the clean up process and will determine if the City of Chattanooga will be fined for the spill.

 

 

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