Jan 05, 2009

Tennessee American Water Monitors Post-Spill Water Quality

Group to continue daily testing in the aftermath of a coal ash spill

Tennessee American Water continues to monitor and test the water it provides its customers in the aftermath of a coal ash spill which occurred in Kingston, Tenn., on Dec. 22.“To date, there have been no issues associated with the water supply to the city of Chattanooga and the surrounding communities served by Tennessee American Water,” said John Watson, president of Tennessee American Water. The group continues to closely monitor the situation and has been in regular communication with lead regulatory and utility officials 'on-scene' in Kingston, which is 40 miles west of Knoxville.“We have stayed in contact with the EPA [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency], TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority] and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) as we closely watch and test our water supply from the Tennessee River,” said Watson.The regulatory and utility agencies in charge have extensive resources working round-the-clock to contain and clean up the spill. Likewise, they are monitoring for environmental impacts to raw water supplies from the Tennessee River. To date, the closest drinking water intake to the spill, which is in Kingston six miles downstream from the event, has been able to maintain its drinking water within federal standards.Tennessee American Water has instituted daily sampling of the drinking water to ensure there are no elevated levels of contaminants. The company’s “state-of-the-art” treatment process is designed to remove these types of contaminants through a multi-staged approach. The treatment process, under most conditions, should successfully remove contaminants resulting from the spill should they travel this far down the river.“We will continue to do daily testing until environmental regulatory officials are certain the issue has passed,” said Watson.