City is fined by TDEC for violations
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has fined Tracy City $9,200. for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. TDEC has ordered the city to submit a plan to fix the problem within 60 days. Additionally, the city has 31 days to pay TDEC a portion of the fine – $1,840.
Three TDEC inspections, conducted in January, April and July of 2019, discovered 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).”
Under the report, Tracy City water officials are now required to take samples each month at 10 new sites to monitor chlorine, pH, and temperature. If the city fails to follow the plan, it will face additional charges.
Kevin Byers, the water manager for Tracy City, told Channel 9 News they are 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.