National News

Neighbors worry recycled water is killing fish in pond

Posted August 25

— Neighbors think Mother Nature isn't behind a fish kill in Murfreesboro.

They believe a deal between a golf course and a major manufacturer may be to blame.

News 4 found hundreds of dead fish in the grass and others still clinging to life. Nearby homeowner Keri Como said that was nothing.

"Yesterday there was a good three feet deep of dead fish all around the edge," Como said.

"It's creating a haven for mosquitoes to breed and I don't know what other kind of health hazards there are," Como said. "We may not know the results of that for a long time, but we need some help."

Como blames a deal between General Mills and the golf course. The food company is giving their used water to the golf course to irrigate their grass.

"They don't have any more of a concern for the environment. Their concern is business and making money and saving money," Como said.

The general manager of the golf course did not want to go on camera, but News 4 spoke to him and a spokesperson for General Mills by phone.

They said General Mills has a state-issued permit to first clean their used water and then recycle it in the golf course pond. They said recycling is a good thing.

The general manager of the golf course is adamant it's not the water killing the fish but heat, algae and lack of oxygen. They're not cleaning out the dead fish so they don't irritate the neighbors.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation confirmed General Mills has the proper permit to dump the water.

TDEC spent the day testing the ponds. The results aren't in yet, but TDEC said it appears the recycled water isn't the problem.

Some homeowners aren't convinced.

"I say that's untrue for the simple fact I've lived here 15 years and prior to them starting to pump the water in, we did not have this issue," Como said.

Homeowners are also concerned about storm water drains. They are worried the recycled water and the dead fish will flow into the Stones River and cause more problems.

The golf course said water comes into the pond and doesn't go out. The state is also looking into that issue.

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