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Landfill: voluntary steps were successful

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Water flowing from Vickrey Spring has returned to normal, according to the spokeswoman for Cedar Ridge Landfill, the business that took responsibility for pollution from a broken pipe.

However, Terri Douglas, community relations manager for Waste Management Inc., parent company of the landfill, said on Friday that eight inches of rain in five days and a nearby state road-widening project might affect the stream.

Meanwhile, "water quality in the spring has returned to levels found prior to the unanticipated failure of an on-site pipeline" that was carrying leachate, which is soiled water that's to be captured and removed to prevent pollution, according to Douglas.

"The voluntary action we took to capture and properly dispose of [contaminated] water from Vickrey Spring was successful," Douglas said, "and the decommissioning of this [pipe] line has enabled the Vickrey Branch of Globe Creek to return to pre-existing conditions."

The company's conclusions are "based on monitoring and test results" at the spring, she said. Waste Management's "analytical data have been shared with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation," TDEC.

Given the return to normal conditions at the spring, the company has dismantled and removed its temporary water capture system that was placed at the spring during July, Douglas said.

Contaminated water from the spring was pumped through temporary pipes to a nearby Lewisburg sewer manhole so it would be treated by the city's sewage treatment plant.

"Laboratory data from water samples collected from the spring and stream indicate that state water quality criteria have been met for designated uses of this tributary, including fish and aquatic life, recreation, livestock watering, wildlife and irrigation," Douglas wrote on Friday to residents in the immediate area of the spring and stream.

Odor and discoloration are gone from the spring and creek, she said. A month ago, algae in the stream showed normal conditions were returning with fish, insects and other aquatic life.

A data logger at the spring will continue to monitor conditions, Douglas said.