City Of Memphis Taking Steps After Sewage Leak

By Leah Kraus

From Local 24 | CW30 | Fox 16 |

It has been about a month since a broken pipe leaked more than 350 gallons raw sewage into McKellar Lake and Cypress Creek.

The Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Water Resources with the state of Tennessee wants to make sure the city is meeting their deadlines to fix the problem and make sure it wont happen again.

The sewage that has flowed into McKellar Lake and Cypress Creek is enough to fill 530 Olympic size swimming pools.

Rita Harris with the Sierra Club says it’s a “massive disaster,” and that more inspections need to be done, so the sewer overflow in McKellar Lake and Cypress Creek doesn’t happen again.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation also wants to make sure the sewage overflow doesn’t happen again. That’s why the agency implemented a checklist of deadlines the City of Memphis needs to meet.

As of May 2nd, city officials were supposed to submit plans to explain how they plan to reduce E-Coli levels in the lake and get oxygen levels back to normal conditions. They also need to explain how crews will repair the broken line.

In a statement, the city told us officials have taken action, hiring people to do research to help fix the problems and engineering firm Allen and Hoshall to design a replacement for the broken line.

City officials also insist they’re updating the public with information as they go.

But Harris says she isn’t sure it’s happening fast enough.

“Those people that are actually living on the water don’t feel like it’s fast enough because it’s affecting their livelihood — they have fishing operations, recreation operations,” says Harris.

She says the massive amount of sewage that flowed into McKellar Lake and Cypress Creek has to go somewhere and that eventually it will end up in the Mississippi River.

City officials say they’ll have an update for the public at the MLGW Neighborhood Advisory Council on May 10th.


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