City, County Dispute Leave Lewisburg Residents With Contaminated Water

Posted: 8:53 PM, Mar 29, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-29 21:53:50-04

The state of Tennessee has offered a grant to help repair a contaminated water well, but Lewisburg and Marshall County officials can't find common ground.

Clean water is a precious commodity Carol Dick does not take for granted, but she has refused to drink the water from her own faucet.

Since 2011, she and her husband, Bill only drink bottled water. That's because the State tested and found contaminants in a deep water well six years ago.

The State, Lewisburg city government and the water department flipped the bill to install city pipelines to residents on both sides of Craig Moore Road. However, a two mile stretch in the middle was left out.

"The part of the road from the old landfill had been contaminated and they had gotten part of the road done but we're concerned the rest of the road might have the same problems with contaminants in the well," said Dick. 

In January, the State tested their deep water well and found contaminants like benzene in it. Carol and her husband happen to live near the old city landfill. 

"Old landfills that weren't dug right or protected or gasoline stations, those are sources of benzene in your water," Dick said. 

The benzene in their water is not at dangerously high levels, but the State said residents "may be drinking unsafe water" and has offered to pay half, once again, to finish installing the pipelines. However, this time the city isn't playing ball.

"They point fingers at other people so we go to other people and they point back to the city." Dick explained. 

Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham said the city just can't afford it, especially since the area is not in the city's growth plan and the city government would miss any possible revenue. He said a master meter from the county is the best plan.

The county, however, said they cannot install a county line in between two city lines. For now, the Dicks are stuck with their well water. "The cows are drinking that water and I hope they're ok," Dick said. 

Long term exposure to Benzene can result in immune system deficiencies and even cancer.