Raw water at the Eastside Utility District in Tyner and the Tennessee American Water plant in Chattanooga is being checked three times a day for mercury contamination, according to state officials.
Heavy rains this week forced the overflow of an Olin Corp. treatment lagoon and spilled about 50 pounds of mercury into the Hiwassee River, according to Tisha Calabrese-Benton, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
No test results are in yet, she said, although the testing began yesterday after the mercury overflows began three days ago.
Normally Olin is permitted to release on 70 pounds of mercury in a year, according to Calabrese-Benton.
Olin spokeswoman Elaine Patterson could not be reached for comment.
Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...