City of Centre Legal Discussions Begin


Centre Water Quality, Legal Questions

May of 2017 the City of Centre’s water board filed suit against a number of carpet and textile companies in the Southeast alleging that collectively they were responsible for polluting the city’s water with harmful chemical compounds.  The suit claims that companies in or around the City of Dalton are responsible.

The Alabama Department of Public Health warned the residents of Centre in Cherokee County in May 2017, about unhealthy levels of two synthetic compounds in its water, saying they might consider "using alternate sources of drinking water.

Because of the high levels of compounds registered, Centre Water, which pumps water from the Coosa River, started buying water from the Cherokee County Water Authority and blending the two waters in hopes of driving down the PFC numbers. The City continues to test the water and officials are considering installing an added treatment system.

Basically the story of compounds reaching the City's water supply goes something like this:, From Tennessee, the  Conasauga River flows through the City of Dalton and makes it way to the Coosaawattee River.  Further south  the chemicals from the Coosaawatee join up with the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers in Rome where the two become the Coosa River. The Coosa River runs for about 280 miles, and one of the first dumping grounds is Weiss Lake, which of course, is what we homeowners are concerned about.

According to the Post, last Wednesday, December 20, 2017, lawyers representing 36 clients were in Centre to start the legal proceedings.   “The water board is suing for funds to cover the cost of installing a $1.5 million filtration system to its water plant, along with the necessary funds to maintain it for the next 40 years”. The attorneys representing for the most part the carpet mills, don’t believe the City of Centre water board has the legal right to sue the companies, further that the companies deny that there are any health hazards, and deny that these trace levels compounds present any hazard or cause the City of Center any damage.

According the Post, “Judge Taylor listened to all the attorneys…he did not schedule a timetable for a follow-up hearing to announce his rulings on the jurisdiction motions”.

PS:  Those man-made chemical compounds in questions are used in making non-stick, stain-resistant and water-proofing coatings on fabric, cookware, firefighting foam and other products. Perfluorochemicals, or PFC, break down slowly in the environment.

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