The Guntersville Water Board was sued by the environmental group Tennessee Riverkeeper earlier this year concerning sanitary sewer outfalls, sewage leaks that happen especially during times of high rainfall when runoff can leak into a sewer system and overwhelm it.
Last week, Bay Chandler of the Water Board and attorney David Jones told the City Council they are cooperating with the Tennessee Riverkeeper and expect to settle the lawsuit soon.
The Water Board plans to spend $5.5 million over the next two years to address as many of the sanitary sewer outfall issues as possible. But in order to get the work started, the Water Board needed a utility easement from the city in the vicinity of Launch Street and Wyeth Drive. The Board plans to rework its pumping station there.
“We don’t want to be like Decatur,” Jones said. “Decatur was fined $200,000 for this same problem.”
Chandler said the Water Board has actually been working on the issue of sewer outfalls for several years. This just puts additional work on a more aggressive track.
“We are going to submit a plan of what we are going to do over the next 24 months,” he said. “This pumping station is critical to those plans. This has to happen.”
The capacity of the pumping station will be increased significantly, he said. The nearby church had asked that the pumping station be improved aesthetically and that will happen too.
Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the easement. Councilman Dink Myers seconded. It passed unanimously.