Tennessee Riverkeeper recently announced plans to sue Decatur Utilities for what they say are violations of the Clean Water Act, and the group’s founder David Whiteside says public health is at stake if something isn’t done about the sewage overflows.
“Pollution is the most serious problem that plagues our waterways in Alabama and Tennessee,” said Whiteside. “This is a common problem, but unfortunately the city of Decatur has far more violations per volume than most of the other waste water treatment plants we’re looking at.”
That’s why he’s announced Riverkeeper will sue Decatur Utilities, who he says has violated the Clean Water Act. This year, he says there have been 50 sewage overflows into our waterways, which translates to over 6,400,000 million gallons of untreated sewage. Whiteside says there’s been 245 overflow violations since April 2014, as reported by Decatur Utilities.
“At the end of the day, Riverkeeper wants the city of Decatur and Decatur Utilities to improve their sewage treatment and their pollution abatement and to clean up the waterways,” he said.
In the meantime, he wants city leaders to step up communication and let the public know when overflows happen.
“We know as the weather gets warmer and there are more people on the river, the chances of people getting sick from this increase greatly as it warms up,” said Whiteside.
He says communication is the number one way we can protect public health.
WZDX reached out to Decatur Utilities, who declined to comment at this time due to pending litigation.