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State Of Tennessee Spanks City Over Sewage Spills

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Nobody is going to mistake McKellar Lake for the Riviera. 
It is a place a lot of Memphians use to go fishing and boating. And they can tell you stories about what happened a few years ago.

Things look good around the lake these days. It's about as clean as any lake can be that is connected to the Mississippi River.

Two years ago was different.
A ruptured pipe at Cypress Creek ended up dumping 350-million gallons of raw sewage into the Mississippi River, and of course, that meant McKellar Lake as well.

Michael Tackett is the new owner of the McKellar Lake Marina, but he's no newcomer to the place or the sewage leak.

"I lived down here when it happened," said Tackett. "It was pretty bad. We couldn't do any fishing, you know, with the water or anything. We just had to wait until it cleaned up."

There have been other sewage problems.
A 42-inch pipe broke near the Loosahatchie River, not too long after McKellar Lake.
The State of Tennessee already fined the city for more than half a million bucks for the spill at the lake.
Now, the case of the stinking water is closed.

"We finally settled it," says Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht.

They settled, after agreeing to pay just about $90,000 of your dollars.

"We negotiated with them for a period of time," Knecht says. "We negotiated the final settlement agreement."

They're not done negotiating.
Last March, two pumps failed at a North Memphis sewage treatment plant, resulting in millions of gallons of untreated waste pouring directly into the Mississippi River.
Knecht said, at the time, and still says, they expect to be fined, just not as much.

"I think there's not going to be the same level of factors involved because it was a different situation."


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