Septic tank overflow pond in Rogersville prompts TDEC investigation

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office says it will probably be Monday before we know the identity of a woman’s body that was found in a septic tank overflow pond earlier this week.

But now, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is stepping in in a separate matter, saying the sewage pond is illegal.

The discovery of the woman’s body led to the sheriff’s office calling in the Emergency Management Agency, which then called in TDEC.

Hawkins County EMA Director Gary Murrell told News Channel 11 that any sewage above the ground is illegal.

“Running on the ground is illegal. Especially having an open pit such as that in a trailer park is just not safe at all,” Murrell said.

The trailer park is on Meadowview Road in Rogersville.

Murrell says the exposed sewer was approximately three feet deep and it’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure something is done about it.

“Sewer running on top of the ground is not normal. It’s not healthy, it’s not safe and something needs to be done about it.” he said.

Murrell said the landlord is trying to get the problem fixed.

“I talked with the landlord he was very receptive about trying to get the problem fixed, you know, he said just whatever we need to do to solve the problem and you know he’s trying. He was going to meet with TDEC when I came down and trying to see what they needed to do to solve this problem,” Murrell said.

TDEC said the Rogersville Water Department took samples at the department’s filter plant and at storage tanks as a precaution and all of the samples met safe drinking water standards required by the state of Tennessee.

TDEC said the investigation is ongoing and state action is pending.

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