SMYRA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands of gallons of raw sewage and waste water spilled into a creek in Smyrna after not one but two sewer lines broke over the weekend.
But more than 200,000 gallons were vacuumed up before making it to the creek.
Even workers at several manufacturing plants like Nissan and ViJon were asked not to flush toilets while the repairs were being made.
Several state agencies include the Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation have been notified.
Environmental crews told News 2 this is one of the largest sewage spills they’ve ever worked, and it could be one of if not the largest in the state.
Vickie Wright usually comes to the Smyrna walking trail to walk her dog Annie.
“We came to the park today not knowing that there had been any kind of leak sewage or otherwise,” Wright said.
But she had second thoughts.
“We don’t want her exposed to anything sewage water, raw sewage or anything,” Wright said. “It’s hard enough to keep your dog from eating things they don’t need to eat. I don’t want her around it. I don’t want to be around it.”
Friday night Sam Ridley Parkway began to ice over with waste water.
It turns out a 12-inch sewer line ruptured.
“It is a significant spill, I’m sorry I don’t have the exact amount, it’s going to be high and the Town realizes that, and we’re making ever effort to make sure its clean it up and clean it up properly,” Smyrna Fire Chief Bill Culbertson said.
After the line was repaired, a second break was discovered underneath Sam Ridley, which caused several manholes to overflow with nasty sewage.
“We can document 257,000 gallons we were able to transport from the man holes to the Smyrna Treatment Facility,” said Matt Church with Premier Protective Services.
But several thousand gallons spilled into Stewart Creek, which is a tributary of Percy Priest Lake.
“We don’t have an exact number, but we are for sure that we were able to contain and control the flow using daming and diking methods,” Church said.
Environmental crews vacuumed the waste from the creek and left booms to catch any remaining.
“We have no signs of any animal life being damaged, no fish or anything else we have found,” Culbertson said.
The walking trail and Volunteer Park has been closed as a precaution.
“There is no danger here, we just as a precaution until we get all our work done we don’t want people in there,” Culbertson said.
Lime was spread near the original break, and in the park to kill any bacteria or enzymes.
Crews have wrapped up and will be back Monday morning to remove the grass and top soil to safely dispose of it.
They will put new dirt down and resod the affected area.
Environmental crews will be taking water samples and sending them to be tested.
TDEC and Tennessee Wildlife Resources will be visiting the site as well.