Report shows no toxins in Memphis drinking water supply | The Tribune
However, the report also shows a connection between the shallow aquifer where toxins were found and the deeper Memphis Sand Aquifer that provides the city’s drinking water.
TVA began investigating last year after toxins ended up in wells that monitor pollution from coal ash ponds at its Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis.
The shallow monitoring wells are near far deeper wells drilled directly into the Memphis Sand Aquifer.
The TVA had planned to use the deeper wells to cool a nearby natural gas plant that will replace the coal plant later this year, but it has decided it will not use the cooling wells at this time.
Discovery of the toxins raised concerns from Memphis residents and environmental groups that the contaminants could seep from the shallow Alluvial aquifer where the monitoring wells are located into the deeper Sand Aquifer that supplies the city’s slightly-sweet drinking water.
A layer of clay about 30 to 70 feet thick separates the two aquifers.
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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation stated at the time that news of the toxins’ existence was released that the department was confident the contaminants "are not impacting drinking water."
Still, the department asked Memphis Light, Gas & Water — the city’s water utility — to test treated drinking water, and it came up clean.
TVA is planning to buy water from Memphis Light, Gas & Water for daily operations, it said.