Tennessee American Water Ends Final Boil Water Advisory


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s taken 4 days to sort out all of the issues, but most of Chattanooga and the Tennessee American Water service area are back to normal tonight.

The water company joined with the Emergency Management Agency to handle all communications after the water main break, and they held a meeting at 5 o’clock this afternoon.

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This news conference was scheduled for earlier this afternoon…but was delayed because some details were not yet available.

Those details dealt with whether or not to continue to boil water in some out-lying areas.

That’s all been resolved now.

This was the map released this afternoon by Tenn-Am showing the areas in green where it’s no longer necessary to boil water as a precaution.

Elder Mountain residents were the last to get the boil water recommendation lifted. The information was based on sample test results taken from those areas. It reaffirms that the water quality meets state and federal standards.

“We were able to roughly give out, over a half, roughly about a half a million water bottles to the residents, which equals out to twenty thousand eight hundred thirty-three cases of water, and three hundred and eighty six pallets of bottled water,” said Amy Maxwell, Public Information Officer, Emergency Management.

The boil water notice was issued on September 13, as a precautionary measure, following the water main break that resulted in a significant loss of pressure in the drinking water system. One of the last places to work out the problems was Signal Mountain.

“Anything that doesn’t go through a spigot or a faucet or into a tub is water that’s going into a tank. So, the less we use, the more we can get into the tank, it’s literally a one for one trade off,” said Boyd Veal, Town Manager, Signal Mountain.

Boyd Veal says residents still need to conserve, so they can get their 2 million gallon water tanks refilled.

The Chattanooga downtown area took a major economic hit after the break caused the loss of water pressure or service on Friday. It was an unprecedented event.

Crews worked all day to isolate and start repairs to the 36-inch pipe on Tenn-Am property. It sent thousands of gallons of water gushing from the site.

All schools and UTC were closed…most downtown businesses closed…restaurants shut their doors and and the major hospitals conserved water..but stayed open.

“Our crews are still continuing to work out in the system, flushing, we are getting reports from some customers of air in the line, we’ve worked with the local fire departments to kind of mitigate some of those instances and it’s been a very successful weekend, and a good day today taking everyone off that boil water advisory,” said Kevin Krunchinski, with Tennessee American Water.

Thrasher Elementary was the only school closed today because of poor water pressure. The school and the water tanks are on the same level.

Tennessee American water has had several water main breaks this year….But the one last Friday was one of the most disruptive in recent years.


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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at ahenderson@wdef.com.