Environmental group threatens legal action against lagoon owner

GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A North Alabama environmental group is threatening to sue over improperly-treated sewage that was discharged into the Tennessee River at a lagoon located on Buck Island near Guntersville.

Tennessee Riverkeeper claims there's been more than a thousand violations of the federal clean water act. They contend that dating back to July 2009, levels of fecal coliform and suspended solids dumped into the river were above allowed limits. They've sent notice to Gunter's Landing lagoon's owner who has until the end of September to fix the problem else face court action.

However, the city of Guntersville's interest in buying the property may solve the problem.

"We're in discussions with the owner of the property to purchase it for a runway expansion at our airport," said Mayor Bob Hembree.

If that happens, the lagoon would be removed, and Hembree said, "the retention pond would go away and the tie in would be with our city sewer system."

Owner Jimmy Kennamer said the lagoon serves around 117 households in that area.

His attorney Buddy Cox said even before the notice from the environmental group, they have been working with ADEM to make sure they get in compliance with the permit.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved