Ash Spill Fallout Continues: Now "260 Times the Allowable Amount" of Arsenic in Drinking Water Supply


Photo via Kentucky Environmental Matters

Things just never get any better when it comes to news about the ash spill at TVA's Kingston plant in Tennessee. Even though the spill hit way back in December, the repercussions keep on piling up--now, the Appalachian Voices has completed a study showing that the nearby Emory River, a source of drinking water, has been contaminated with "260 times the allowable amount of arsenic." Preliminary reports in January put the arsenic levels around 300 times the safe amount, but it's still atrocious. Arsenic can cause cancer or downright poisoning--and organ failure and death. But that's not all that was lurking in the once safe water supply.EnviroKnow has excerpted the damning study of all the potentially dangerous metals now contaminating the rivers surrounding the spill:

Total recoverable metals water testing results from Emory River mile 2.2, where ash clogs the river, revealed arsenic levels were 260 times the allowable amounts in drinking water. Lead measured 16 times higher than the drinking water standard while barium and cadmium were three times higher. Selenium measured 1.9 times higher than the Tennessee acute aquatic life criteria and 7.6 times higher than the Tennessee chronic aquatic life criteria.

Arsenic and lead? Must be the Tennesseans lucky day. That amount of arsenic could cause cancer in those that drink the water supply, or arsenic poisoning, which if untreated leads to brain damage, organ failure, and death.

Chalk up yet another byproduct of an already catastrophic event. As if we didn't have enough reasons to have coal and coal ash.

More on the Tennessee Ash Spill
Massive Tennessee Toxic Ash Spill May Have Been Prevented by Fixes Rejected by TVA Officials
Overview of Recent Toxic Coal Ash Spills

Tags: Coal | Pollution | Toxins