Earlier today, WATE reported TVA as saying the toxic sludge that wiped out a Roane Co. community when a retaining pond dike failed contained no hazardous materials, which is not exactly accurate. The News Sentinel later reported that it contains "heavy metals," without elaborating.
Just now, Fox 43 local news (which I believe is produced by WATE) said that residents in the affected area should boil their drinking water. They didn't say why.
As I understand it, boiling water is only effective if there is a bacterial or viral contamination. Boiling water is the last thing you want to do in the case of toxic waste contamination, because all it does is increase the concentration of toxic materials in the contaminated water.
Does anyone know why area residents are being told to boil their water, or who is advising this? Has the toxic sludge contaminated ground water and local water supplies? Has it cause some disruption of water treatment resulting in higher levels of bacteria? The news report didn't say.
Anyway, I don't know which is worse - TVA misleading the public about the hazard, other unknown officials giving out bad information, or local media blindly accepting it and passing it on without explanation or even bothering to question or google it.
I realize local news operations are operating on a shoestring budget, but maybe they should just not report anything at all if what they report is misleading or potentially makes the situation worse than it already is.
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