Sewage spill in TN is example of national clean water threat

Massive sewage spill kills two, pollutes river in Tennessee

April 6th, 2011

<p>Katherine Baer, 202-347-7550<br />Amy Kober, 503-827-8648</p>

Washington, DC –  A massive sewage spill in Tennessee Tuesday killed two workers and sent millions of gallons of sewage into the Little Pigeon River, which flows through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Katherine Baer, senior director of the clean water program at American Rivers, made the following statement:

“This accident is a tragedy and our hearts go out to the families of the victims. While we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we must make sure we are adequately investing in our water treatment infrastructure to prevent disasters like this in the future.”

“While this is an extreme example, it is an unfortunate fact that sewage spills happen all the time. In the richest, most advanced nation on earth, we are still dumping over a trillion gallons of raw sewage in our waterways every year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every year, in each county across the nation, we dump enough untreated sewage to fill both the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden.”

“Rivers and streams provide 65 percent of our drinking water. Sewage spills threaten our drinking water supplies nationwide and put our families at risk of illness.”

“As debate on the federal budget continues, we urge Congress to fully fund clean water and drinking water infrastructure that is critical to our communities nationwide.”

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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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