News Feature | June 25, 2019

Nashville Threatened With Lawsuit Over 4.7 Million Gallons Of Wastewater Overflow

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga


Music City has recently raised the ire of environmentalists who blame it for significant untreated wastewater leaks.

“Environmental watchdogs plan to sue the City of Nashville, claiming they’ve let more than 4.7 million gallons of raw sewage into the Cumberland River,” per Fox 17. “It’s a staggering number that has residents disgusted.”

There are reportedly Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation records that indicate the 4.7-million-gallon total has accrued since February 2017. This is what has prompted Tennessee Riverkeeper, a local environmental group, to take action.

“Tennessee Riverkeeper plans to file suit against the city alleging it violated the Clean Water Act and NPDES permit violations by the Metro Water Services at the Whites Creek Sewage Treatment Plant,” Fox 17 reported.

David Whiteside, the founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper, believes the problem stems from outdated infrastructure combined with the fact that Nashville is not preventing new developments from leveraging it.

“In a perfect system, the wastewater treatment plant would contain all of the waste, but, unfortunately, that’s not happening,” Whiteside told Fox 17. “Waste can escape through leaky pipes or faulty infrastructure or during significant rain events or flood events… We’re allowing these developers to dump whatever they want and compromising the river.”

It’s unclear how the lawsuit might motivate wastewater improvements in Nashville or where those improvements would be focused. The lawsuit is expected to be filed within two months.

To read more about how public wastewater systems maintain their infrastructure, visit Water Online’s Asset Management Solutions Center.