Niota sewage operator sentenced to prison - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Niota sewage operator sentenced to prison

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The operator of a Niota, Tenn., water treatment plant must serve six months in a federal prison for falsifying documents that covered up his failure to properly operate a sewage treatment system.

Before the sentencing Monday, federal prosecutors asked the court to make an example out of Donald Jack Clark, arguing that he potentially put the public at risk of contracting serious illness. They said the 58-year-old failed to properly disinfect waste water before it was discharged into Little North Mouse Creek, a tributary of the Hiwassee River.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice Jr. also ordered Clark to serve six months on home detention following his release from prison and to perform 150 hours of community service.

Clark pleaded guilty in September to 12 counts of making false documents required by the federal Clean Water Act.

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