Tracy City fined $9,200 for multiple violations of state's 'Safe Drinking Water Act'
The Town of Tracy City is facing nearly $10,000 in fines for multiple violations of Tennessee's 'Safe Drinking Water Act'.
Channel 3 has obtained documents from the state showing high levels of contamination in the town's water supply has been an ongoing issue.
Nearly 5,000 residents in Tracy City use that water to clean their homes, bathe and cook every day.
But several people told Channel 3 it's common knowledge that it isn't safe for consumption and they're looking to officials for a solution.
"You should be able to enjoy your water," said resident Pamela Phipps.
She told Channel 3 she's tired of paying the bill for water she and her family don't feel safe drinking.
"It's upsetting to know that you can't use something that you are paying (per) month the way you (would) like to use it," Phipps told Channel 3.
But now, Tracy City has to pay up more than $9,200 in fines for contamination in its water supply.
"You don't know what you're putting in your own belly and your family's belly and it's a depressing situation," Phipps added.
Documents from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation cite violations dating back to 2017.
"(The) water we have is all we have. We can't find anything else to use, so what we have at home is what we have. So, what do you do?" Phipps said during an interview.
The issue has forced many residents to look to bottled water as the only guarantee of safe drinking water.
"I wish that it was where we could sit down with a glass of ice water and really enjoy it," she said.
Tracy City Water Manager Kevin Byers did not want to speak to us on camera but told Channel 3 it's a seasonal problem they've been trying to find a solution to for some time.
He explained that the problem is the result of filters at the plant failing to remove disinfectant bi-products from treating the water with chlorine.
Byers says he's aware the side effects of drinking two liters of the town's water a day over a long period of time could result in cancer.
"It's an off and on thing about the water. We get a letter every once in a while saying the waters contaminated again so we can't use it," Phipps said.
The town has been ordered to do a study on the water treatment process and create a corrective action plan.
It's one Phipps is hoping will work for her grandchildren's sake.
Tracy City has 30 days from the day they received the notice to make their first payment of $1,854.55 in fines.
Byers say they've already contacted a chemist who will help them find a solution and that the issue will be discussed at their next water board meeting on October 10th at 6:00 pm central time.
Residents are welcome to attend and give feedback.