TDEC fines Tracy City for violating Safe Drinking Water Act
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has fined Tracy City $9,200. for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The city has 31 days to pay TDEC at least $1,840 of that fine.
A TDEC complaint obtained by NewsChannel 9 says three TDEC inspections, conducted in January, April and July of this year, found that Tracy City "failed to maintain water served to its customers below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for the disinfection byproduct Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and/or five Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)." (See the full report below).
TDEC has ordered Tracy City to submit a plan to fix the issue within 60 days. The study is supposed to evaluate optimizing plant operations and water age in the distrubution system and storage tank, among other things.
Tracy City leaders will be required to take samples each month at 10 new sites to monitor things like chlorine, pH and temperature. If Tracy City does not respond with a plan within 60 days, TDEC says it will face additional fines.
Kevin Byers, the water manager for Tracy City, says they are well aware of the issue. He says it became a problem when they got a new membrane filtration plant about five years ago. Byers says when the temperature of the water in their reservoir goes up, the level of organics in the water increases. When the chlorine and the organics, which Byers describes as wood, dirt and other remnants in the water, meet... trihalomethane is created. He says Tracy City is just barely over the limit, but they have been taking steps to remedy the situation like adding more hydrants to flush and adding a mixer in the storage tanks to circulate fresh water. He says they may have to implement a water rate increase to make the improvements that will remedy the problem.
Read the full report below: