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Advocacy group plans to sue city of Pulaski over Clean Water Act violations

PULASKI, Tenn. -- A local clean water advocacy group plans to sue the city of Pulaski for illegal sewage violations.

Tennessee Riverkeeper said the Pulaski Wastewater Treatment is responsible for spilling millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water.

The group sent an intent to sue to the mayor of Pulaski that outlines 122 Clean Water Act violations they say took place over the last 5 years.

David Whiteside, the founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper, said two of the spills consisted of over 10 million gallons of raw sewage.

"That's some of the most voluminous sanitary sewage discharges we've encountered. We often see overflows of 10,000, or 100,000, or even up to 1 million. Ten million is astonishing," Whiteside explained.

Whiteside added that the city of Pulaski self-reported the violations.

"Riverkeeper discovered them in federal files and they were filed under federal oath and we believe that they need to clean this mess up," Whiteside said.

According to the advocacy group, the sewage is spilling into Richland Creek. Richland Creek drains into the Elk River of the Wheeler Reservoir.

"Why they sit on these violations and chose to do nothing about it is a very good question. I'd love to get to the bottom of that. But fortunately, under the Clean Water Act, there is citizen enforcement provisions that say if government isn't doing their job to protecting our public waterways then citizens have the right to step in and enforce the law."

The group plans on suing in 60 days.