Residents of Memphis used to boast about their "community treasure," which is their sweet-tasting water. Tennessee. But recent reports say that authorities found high levels of arsenic and lead in the water. The water comes from Memphis Sand aquifer underneath.

Arsenic and Lead

The residents are now worried about the announcement made by the tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The high level of arsenic and lead were discovered in groundwater found underneath the Allen Fossil Plant, a coal-fired Power Plant in the southwest of Memphis.

Aside from that, the toxins were also detected in waters drawn from wells. The water in the wells is constantly used to monitor pollution where ponds that hold cold ash were also found.

The byproducts from burning coal to generate energy accumulate in these ponds.

Based on the investigations, the arsenic level in one pond is about 300 times over the federal drinking water standard. The authorities monitor wells that run for 50 feet (15 meters) in depth and about .8 kilometers wells were also dug by the authorities in the Memphis Sand aquifer to monitor pollution levels. in 2018, the authorities plan to draw 3.5 million gallons (13.2 million liters) of water from the aquifer per day, said Phys.Org. This will be done to help cool a natural gas plant set to replace Allen coal power plant.

Despite the alarming levels of arsenic and lead found in the water, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is confident that it cannot contaminate drinking water in the area.

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Eric Ward, the spokesperson of the department said that there's a layer of clay that separates the groundwater used for drinking from the aquifer where Toxins are discovered. But the authorities are being thorough so they asked Memphis Light, Gas & Water, the city's water utility arm, to test drinking water for contamination.

Origin of Toxins

The government said that TVA has a history of difficulties when it comes to locating origins of toxins found in groundwater. Currently, the department revealed through spokesperson Scott Brooks that they are not certain yet as to where the arsenic and lead found on the aquifer originated. But they assured the public that they are cooperating with the authorities to locate the source of the problem.

Mayor Mark Lutrell of Shelby County is not happy with the findings. He fears that more than 900,000 residents could be affected when the water gets contaminated. The levels of lead and arsenic in the water samples are not acceptable in his community.