Lick Creek neighbors share concerns over treated wastewater application

Residents share concerns over treated wastewater application
Posted at 5:16 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 21:04:05-05

PRIMM SPRINGS, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some major changes could come to a tributary of the Duck River, and some residents around it believe it's happening far too quietly.

How many times have cousins Cecile Allen and Beatrice Jobe walked along Hickman County’s Lick Creek?

“Innumerable times," Jobe laughed.

"In 82 years,” Allen added, thinking back to when the two were little girls. “She would step on a rock knowing a snake would crawl out from under it, just so I would scream and carry on.”

“I do not recall that situation, but I’ll take her word,” Jobe smiled.

“My great grandfather purchased this land right here in 1887," said Allen.

In a place so familiar, the women are worried about a sign they said showed up just after Christmas.

“Well, I couldn’t believe it," said Jobe.

"This beautiful, pristine creek may be changed forever,” Allen said.

The sign is a public notice about an application from the Water Authority of Dickson County to discharge treated wastewater into Lick Creek.

Allen and Jobe are among the residents asking what this could do to the wildlife and if this could mean a higher chance of flooding to homes. They said most residents didn’t know about the application and were concerned the public notice was only placed off a highway where it could be dangerous to stop and read it.

“Certainly the sign could have been bigger," said Jobe.

“To think we would become the champion of wastewater disposal without it being given full-blown daylight, that’s pretty frightening,” added Jack Allen, Cecile Allen's husband.

Residents have also pointed out the signs call for concerns to be made in a comment period, but the signs don’t say when that comment period begins or ends.

Water Authority of Dickson County executive director Michael Adams told NewsChannel 5 they’ve had biologists study the area for three years, and they’re confident it won’t see the environmental or flooding impacts that concern the residents. A representative for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation added the construction of a new sewage treatment plant has not been approved at this time, and there will be a public hearing.

Allen and Jobe are part of a petition to speak against discharge of treated wastewater.

“I don’t like it," said Allen. "I don’t think it should be treated so casually. It’s just a beautiful place that I love and have all my life loved.”

“It makes me very sad to think it will not be the pure, pristine creek that we’ve treasured," Jobe added.