View Full Version : West Prong Little Pigeon River Contamination.

01-19-2009, 02:03 PM
I was reading on the other thread about the fishing along the spur. If I read that correctly, this water is contaminated by waste water. Does anyone have any information on this. Is this a year around problem or what is going on there?

01-19-2009, 10:25 PM
As you come up the spur the Vistor Center on the right is where the water treatment plant is for Gatlinburg. The last I heard it is a failed treatment system that can dump raw sewage into the river. So from there on down is contaminated at times. Herbert Holt Park used to be posted also, which is up stream from the plant, but the last couple of years the posting have been removed. I can't find anything to back all this up, but that is what I have heard for years. Pigeon Forge tubing is not for me.

01-19-2009, 11:32 PM
Pigeon Forge tubing is not for me.

What!!??... the miles of Applachian Vegas Kitch lining the 6 lane highway wasn't enough to convince you? The storm run off alone probably contains enough petro chemicals to MAKE the tubes they use in the river anyway.:cool:

Please forgive me...gonna go hug a tree now!:biggrin:

01-20-2009, 12:16 PM

page 7 mentions it briefly. Septic tank failures.

01-20-2009, 12:22 PM
Plunker I do agree. And that is such a beautiful place. With those time shares like west gate popping up all over the place what does one expect to happen.

01-20-2009, 05:35 PM
Plunker I do agree. And that is such a beautiful place. With those time shares like west gate popping up all over the place what does one expect to happen.

These huge timeshare resorts that key on being in nature, bringing the best of the Smokies to you yada yada yada...when they probably came in, clear cut everything, moved every inconvenient rock, diverted every inconvenient stream, and then "landscaped" their way back to Nature.

It's kinda like Disney digging up a swamp to "build" a natural wetland :cool::eek:

Not big on huggin trees...but some things really make me wonder:eek:

01-20-2009, 05:39 PM
AMEN BROTHER PREACH IT. I feel the same way. It is definately confusing. I am not a big tree hugger neither but I do love my smoky mountains.

01-20-2009, 06:07 PM
I am from Gatlinburg. I now live in Maryville...hey I got here as fast as I could! I lived on the spur at Beech Branch Rd. Before the "new" sewer treatment plant was built (that was where our football field was by the way) the "old" plant at the curve as you drive into the city proper, used to stink very bad! In fact the city used to spray vanilla in the air to cover the smell. As Gatlinburg expanded, the need for wastwater treatment also expanded. The city built a larger/better football field at GP High School and made the old "Legion Field" into a new state of the art waste water treatment plant. You may not even notice it as you drive up the Spur. It is to your right just after you pass Norton Creek Road. A few years ago I took a group of youth canoeing from Pigeon Forge to Sevierville in the river and the next day the State of Tennessee published a "No Swim, No Fish, No Drink" order for the river! It contained high levels of E.coli bacteria if I recall. It was a seasonal thing as high water temperatures and low water combined with all the results of living in the community. I recall a few years ago signs were placed on the Spur which warned people not to swim or fish in that section of river. From time to time plastic garbage bags were placed over the signs...I suppose the levels of bacteria were small enough to not be harmful. Also there was a write up in the News Sentinel a couple of years ago about the Gatlinburg wastewater treatment facility releasing non-treated or partially treated wastewater into the Little Pigeon. I believe this was a one time issue. The outlet is between the Wiley Oakley/Little Smoky Rd bridge and Norton Creek Raod. There is a sign at the outlet explaining what the culvert is. The release was either not intended or the facility reached its full capacity and could not handle the load. I believe the city is trying to do what is right but does make mistakes like any other facility. Anyway, I have waded, swam and fished that section of river in the past but am more reluctant to in the summer. Someone asked if this was a seasonal issue...I believe it is. Anyway...just my two cents worth.

01-20-2009, 06:14 PM
I have seen the black plastic bags over the signs in the past. I have always fished that area and carried my wife down there on her first trip. Man I hope that is not an issue that will really stink up the area over the years. Of course my favorite part of the mountains is not the city limits but the outdoors of the back country.

01-20-2009, 06:31 PM
YEP! ME TOO! It is amazing that on the upper end of Gatlinburg is the water treatment plant which takes in clean water at the Park boundary and at the lower end is the wastewater treatment plant. It boggles the mind how many toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, etc there are in that short 3 mile stretch! Here is the important thing....we are SOOOOOOO fortunate to live in a place where we do not have to walk a mile to collect water from a contaminated hog wallow and have to boil it to use it and we do not have to deal with sewer trenches running through dirt streets. We have it made!!!!!!!

01-20-2009, 07:36 PM
this issue actually reflects how the burg really feels about the visitor.....visitor center next to stinky turd mill.....you should work here in the summer...whew!

01-20-2009, 07:47 PM
.....visitor center next to stinky turd mill. Now That's Funny, I don't care you ya are.

01-21-2009, 08:34 AM
I have been in the parking lot at the visitors center there in the summer. Whew! is the word. That thing is rough, and it amazed me at the time that they put it right beside the visitor center but I guess that's the only place they had. If they did anything else they would have to put in lift stations, pumps, and other expensive equipment.

01-21-2009, 10:42 AM
Went to the children's stream at Holt Park back in the fall and boy did it stink. I can usually blame it on my 3 year old but didn't have to that day, if you know what I mean.

Vern, nice Larry the Cable Guy reference.:smile:

01-21-2009, 04:40 PM
I know where you are speaking of. And on an august day I know the smell. I guess that was their only option. You know there had to be some thought put into that build and the consequences. I will say that I have heard from some more of the gatlinburg locals that the ones who truly own that town are making alot of changes that the past generations would not approve of. Once again thanks Byron for trying to help preserve your little cove in townsend. Long live Byron

01-21-2009, 05:50 PM
Not a coincidence that Sevierville and Gatlinburg begin with the same letters as Sodom and Gomorrah.

01-21-2009, 05:56 PM
I would not go that far but funny any way. Pigeon forge is still very family oriented and I really like it still. But Gatlinburg has definately begun to go down hill fast. I still say the cove that Byron protects is the way to go.;)

01-22-2009, 07:22 PM
so family oriented that it has an "adult" store on the parkway

01-23-2009, 11:15 AM
I have never paid any attention to the adult store. I did however know there was one in the mountain mall in Gatlinburg. We carried our youth in our church up there when we noticed that. Kind of embarrassing but that stuff is every where and sooner or later you are faced with it. I wish it was not but it is. Not trying to judge but I do wish it was not in store fronts to have our children see and ask about. However, this is way off the original question on this post.

01-24-2009, 01:32 PM
so family oriented that it has an "adult" store on the parkway

Sadly, I'd be willing to bet that there is a contingent of folks that would gladly open up a few of those downtown G'Burg... shades of Bourbon Street Smoky Style:mad::eek:

01-25-2009, 12:43 AM
Not a coincidence that Sevierville and Gatlinburg begin with the same letters as Sodom and Gomorrah.

What shall be we call Walland or Cherokee then?

Lets see, Walland has a store right there on the Little River on the Lamar Alexander Parkway on the road going to Townsend I believe it is called the "Adult Superstore".
Cherokee has a a big gambling Casino right on the main drag.

Sure every growing town has problems with waste management. Seems like I remember problems with runoff from all the dairy farms, located in the LR watershed also. Anyone ever fish the little river below the Phillips 66 gas station in Townsend? The dairy farm across the river can get pretty ripe on a warm summer day. Lots of Phosphates running into the river causing reduced clarity and algea blooms during low water conditions. Didn't Maryville have some waste water problems recently with its plant located off Hwy 411, which dumps right into the Little River by the way?
It sure seems like everyone wants to talk bad about Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg but they are not the only places that deal with population growth, over development, moral and enviromental issues.

01-26-2009, 10:42 AM
I just have to tell this story since Townsend was brought up. During the flood of 1994(?) I brought about 60 youth and adults up that week from my church in Maryville to help people with clean-up along the river. We were there from that Sunday night through the next Wednesday. About 10 days. One lady in particular lived on the river near Wesley Woods. All week the Red Cross brought her a gallon of water per day and lunch. All week we cleaned out her basement, cleared off her lot and spent a lot of time helping her neighbors as well. At lunch every day she would set out a gallon jug of water (the residents were told not to drink their tap water because of the possibility of bacteria in the wells from the overflowing septic systems). On the last day when all our work was finished she threw us a party. We finished off one jug of water and she told me to go get another out of the refrigerator. There was none. I opened her pantry and there was stacked 10 gallons of water. I froze. I went outside and asked her, "Virginia, where have you been getting the water you have given us to drink?" She replied "I just fill up the jug from the tap." She had been giving us water from her well!!! I asked why she was not using the stockpile of water jugs and her response was "I was saving them for an emergency." I said "THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!" Ha ha ha. I had to call the Health Department and tell them that 60 people have been drinking tap water from a well. They about flipped out. Luckily none of us became sick.

01-26-2009, 12:09 PM
I agree trout man this thread has gotten way off where it was originally going. And I am guilty of that pig trail also. The main thought when I made this post was the contaminated water on the spur. I do love the mountains and hope that it does not get polluted up and that is what I was asking. However, I agree with others on this post that there are two types of pollution and one is spiritual toward what we except. I just simply feel that the mountains is my place of vacation and if I do not state somewhere what I would like to see in my vacation spots then I can not gripe when it gets corrupted both physically and spiritually. But I do agree with you 100% with the points you made. I just want those mountains to be the place my grand kids oneday could go to and it still be as prestine and wholesome as when my parents went.:smile: