‘No use’ water order still in effect in Germantown; testing still underway

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 12:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2023 at 7:35 PM CDT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - On Monday, city officials provided an update on water testing efforts in Germantown.

Two water giveaways also took place Monday as many in Germantown still lack drinkable water after diesel fuel leaked into the water supply.

City officials say diesel fuel from a generator leaked into the underground reservoir during power outages this week.

According to Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo, it takes about a day to get a water sample, send it away, and perform the necessary tests to see if they contain diesel.       

The city is also testing to see if the samples contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

When each sample reaches the acceptable level according to the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, the order will be lifted.

In regards to when this water crisis started, Mayor Palazzolo says it’s unclear because the city doesn’t have any system in place to test the water for the over 40,000 people who use it in Germantown.       

Thursday, the city was alerted to the issue because people were calling and complaining about the smell of gas in their drinking water.       

Right now it’s unclear whether or not it was a human error that caused the diesel leak, although an investigation is underway.   

Even though 20% of the city’s restrictive water usage has been lifted as of 9 o’clock Sunday night, the people who are still being restricted are frustrated, especially people who are now out of work because of this crisis.

“This is our livelihood. Hair stylists have to work because we are self-employed and we still have bills and expenses we have to pay for,” said Bonnie Carless, a hair stylist in Germantown.

Action News 5 did ask the mayor if people who have been without work going into Day 5 will receive compensation or if any potential damage to things like refrigerators or water heaters will be replaced.

He says that will be determined.

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