ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. - Initial tests on drinking water near a TVA sludge spill in Roane County showed no health risks.
On Monday, a dike gave way at a coal burning plant in Kingston sending a half million gallons of potentially toxic ash and mud bursting through a retention pond holding wall. Three homes were destroyed and several others were damaged.
Preliminary tests showed no increased contamination in the water, but hundreds of dead fish in the water have residents concerned.
The TVA has built a rock wall downstream to keep anything from floating further down the river, and TVA also reduced flow from the site of the spill into rivers that feed into the Tennessee River, which provides drinking water for millions of Tennesseaans.
Crews have been working non-stop to get the spill under control. Officials said they have gained some ground on the situation, but they still have a long way to go.
"We are also going to remove the material that's out in the water. That's going to be done. So, the work has started, but it's just started," said Gil Francis, TVA spokesman.
The next challenge comes with the weekend after Christmas, when rain has been forecasted across the state. If waters rise, it could put more pressure on already strained retaining walls, and push more of the spill into waterways.