More Water Woes For Residents In Maryville, Alcoa

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Blount County (WVLT) Flow rates of the Little River where Maryville and Alcoa get their water hit an all time low.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has the latest.

Alcoa and Maryville are diligently trying to run a water line up here to get more water, but as it turns out, it may do little to ease water restrictions.

31 cubic feet per second. That's the flow rate of water on the Little River where Maryville gets its water.

It's also six CFS lower than the allowed rate of their state permit.

Pam Arnett with the City of Maryville says, "it's all the water we are pumping right now is for essential usage and we are still able to pump."

Simon Devente, Public Works Chief Engineer says, "we've got a six month project here and we're trying to condense it down to a couple of weeks."

Alcoa and Maryville are working diligently to build a mile-long temporary pipe line to get more water above the Rockford Dam.

As they seek to get the permits from the state, there have been some difficultly in getting enough 24 inch pipe.

Devente says, "in the southeast, that amount isn't warehoused, so the contractors are going to have to draw down on those supplies, plus the factories have agreed to retool and start making the pipe that we need. This is going to take two weeks."

But even once complete, state officials say only essential amounts can be pumped.

City officials say there will be plenty of water to pump, but must abide by the restrictions of their permit.

Arnett continues, "it's just that one restriction that Alcoa and Maryville have for the continued aquatic life and it's not really fish, it's a certain mussel."

That muscle is the endangered Pigtoe Pearly mussel.

State officials say as long as the drought continues, Alcoa and Maryville must adhere to the permit restrictions, and that means water restrictions.

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