TDEC lifts water contact advisory for North Fork Holston River

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation says it has lifted a water contact advisory for the North Fork Holston River in Hawkins and Sullivan Counties.

The advisory went into effect on April 24 after a crane fell into the river.

The crane, which was in use for an ongoing Virginia Department of Transportation project in Weber City, reportedly fell into the river along U.S. Route 23 after rainwater caused the river to rise four times its usual height.

The crane caused damage to the sewer line and resulted in a leak of more than 30,000 gallons of untreated wastewater per day. That portion of the river is just a few miles from the Tennessee border.

Weber City Crane

“TDEC has conducted our own water sampling of the North Fork Holston River and results are back to pre-spill levels,” said Tisha Calabrese-Benton, director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources. “We have been in close communication with authorities in Virginia, local and state officials in Tennessee, the local water system and private industry as we’ve monitored the situation.”

TDEC reports since the spill happened in Virginia, it “does not have a direct role in the remediation or potential enforcement processes”.

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