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Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Wildlife and Human Health Risk
By John Disque

gatlinburg water treatment plant
Drainage pipe releasing wastewater directly from the Gatlinburg Water Treatment Plant.
(Image by John Disque)

It's official – for years both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge wastewater treatment plants have been way over capacity. In another article focusing on the negligence of both cities we will show you official documented proof that both cities were repeatedly warned in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010. A very detailed article showing the public everything I am saying will be released tomorrow (4/9/11) along with a continuation and update of this article.

When there's heavy rain or snowfall or when the tourism industry is at high levels the plants store the untreated wastewater in holding tanks until they can finish treating the existing water.

If it continues to rain or snow or if tourism continues to grow the sewer treatment plants are forced to bypass their entire operation and the holding tanks are released – in essence – dumping untreated waste water directly into the Little Pigeon River.

Not knowing exactly where any official state or national government agency stood on the situation and knowing the repeated negligence and political power of both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, we chose to take samples of the water ourselves.

From 5 critical points of the Little Pigeon River we took 2 liter samples that are currently being tested by a state-certified expert chemist located in Knoxville. The results of the testing should be final by Saturday, April 9, 2011, and this article will be updated to show you the official results.

Is there an immediate or impending health risk to/for the wildlife? Is there an immediate or impending health risk to human beings in the area? We believe there is, and we believe this information has been kept from the public.

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Published April 8, 2011

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Related stories:
Major Sewer Plant Accident In Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg Sewer Plant Update


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