City of Chattanooga Public Works officials have determined that the fish kill on a section of South Chickamauga Creek resulted from the backup and overflow of a sewer pipeline near the creek bank, officials said Sunday afternoon.
A large wastewater pumping station experienced loss of pump controls which caused the backup. The section of South Chickamauga Creek affected is generally inaccessible by all but very small watercraft due to the shallow depth and low pipeline crossings.
Once the source was corrected on Friday, Public Works began efforts to clean and restore the quality of the water. Aeration equipment is being used to restore the normal oxygen content of the water. Due to stream currents, the largest area of affected fish is now between Harrison Pike and Amnicola Highway.
No estimate on the quantity of fish affected is available yet.
At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Public Works was alerted by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to the fish kill.
Alice Canella of City Public Works said at the time, "There is no impact to residents. Public Works staff is onsite, along with TWRA and TDEC to determine the exact cause, but it appears a factor is a mechanical failure at a wastewater pumping station. The mechanical failure has been corrected and further investigation of the cause is underway."