Published April 05, 2016
State officials say a sewage leak has caused a major fish kill in a lake near the Mississippi River in west Tennessee.
Kelly Brockman, a spokeswoman with the Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation, said Tuesday that the number of fish killed in McKellar Lake in Memphis is in the thousands.
Officials say a broken sewage line is dumping up to 50 million gallons of untreated wastewater per day into Cypress Creek. The leak into the creek began Thursday. The creek runs into McKellar Lake, which flows into the Mississippi. Officials say the creek and the lake are not sources of drinking water.
Officials have said the spill poses no immediate risk to the public, but they also said people should avoid touching or fishing in both bodies of water. City crews have placed warning signs in the area near the creek, and a marina that provides access to the lake has been closed.
Memphis public works officials have said a bypass around the damaged section of line is estimated to be in place on Wednesday.
Construction to replace the sewer line could take three to four months, with an estimated repair cost of $8 million to $10 million, said Robert Knecht, director of the Memphis Public Works Division.