The city of Guntersville has until July 5th to resolve some sewage issues, or else they'll be sued by the environmental group, the Tennessee Riverkeeper. The group filed an intent to sue the city over sewage spills into Lake Guntersville.
From January until March of 2021, more than 700,000 gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Lake Guntersville.
Within the past 5 years, over 1.7 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into the lake. The founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper, David Whiteside, said it needs to be fixed immediately because untreated sewage can have pathogens and bacteria in it.
“The biggest public health threat is that this can end up leaking into someone’s backyard, or their creek or their neighborhood, their pets can go swim in the creek and bring it back into the house," said Whiteside. "It can also get into Lake Guntersville.”
He said the city of Guntersville actually reported the incidents where sewage spilled into the waterways. They intend to sue the city so some action can be made to keep it from happening any more.
“This water belongs to all of us, and when our government fails their job at protecting it, then the citizens have a right to do so," said Whiteside.
“If the state isn't going to do anything about it to fix it, then some action should be taken where it does get fixed," said Gino Moriggi a Guntersville resident.
The last incident the city reported was in March. The general manager of the Guntersville Water Board, Bay Chandler, said as of June 9, 2021, there are no current issues.
“These issues are related to previous issues, they’re not current, and there’s no imminent and/or danger to anyone’s drinking water or health at this point," said Chandler.
“These are often coming from different things like manhole leaks, or leaky pipes, or a leaking septic tank, or even a clogged toilet, things like that," said Whiteside. "It can be all sorts of different wastewater, none of it is clean and it’s really important we clean it up.”
Whiteside did point out that the city of Guntersville is always willing to fix the issue to make sure Lake Guntersville stays clean for people to enjoy.
Below is the group's intent to sue the city of Guntersville.