- By NANCY STEPHENS Main Street Fairview
- Feb 21, 2023
There’s a pristine creek running peacefully through forests and farmland in Williamson, Maury and Hickman Counties which flows into the Duck River. However, the “peace” surrounding the creek has been disrupted after the public learned of a Water Authority of Dickson County (WADC) plan to dump effluent discharge into Lick Creek.
Last spring, a public notice observed on a bridge over Lick Creek on Highway 7 revealed a permit request to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to allow WADC to construct a sewage treatment plant in the vicinity of Highways 100 and 7 which would discharge millions of gallons of wastewater into Lick Creek.
The creek is a few miles from the Fairview city limits, but many residents in the area have taken an interest in the creek’s protection effort. Many of those have visited the creek for warm-weather water outings.
The Save Lick Creek movement was formed by a diversity of people now known as the Friends of Lick Creek (FLC). They advise, “WADC appears to only be interested in expanding its reach at the expense of the citizens of Hickman County.”
WADC suggest the plant will promote growth in Hickman County which currently has no access to wastewater treatment. WADC owns and operates Fairview’s water system and has three wastewater treatment plants in Dickson and Williamson Counties, all operating near capacity. That problem led WADC to look at expanding services in new growth areas.
However, FLC feels Hickman County residents “should be the ones to determine what establishes quality of life issues, as this pertains to their rights and obligations to relay their thoughts to their elected representatives who promote the communities’ best interests.”
Advocating for self-determination and environmental justice under the banner Save Lick Creek, the FLC’s baseline is “No water — No life” which drives their myriad concerns. Those concerns include environmental damage, contaminated well water and flooding as the proposed plant has the potential to discharge millions of gallons of wastewater a day into Lick Creek.
FLC are also concerned with WADC’s process, referencing a lack of communication with residents and elected officials. Seeking more details, FLC recently filed a lawsuit in Dickson County Chancery Court against the WADC, claiming the public utility failed to fulfill multiple open records requests.
“When it comes to transparency, the WADC’s meter reading is unimpressive to say the least, with one exception: the cheapest way to achieve their long-term goals, is to exploit Hickman County land and resources,” according to FLC.
The lack of trust has also raised the question of why Fairview has no representation on the WADC board. The acquisition of Fairview’s system in 2006 has created growth delays over the years with more recent larger developments installing STEP systems with smaller developments able to obtain sewer taps.
WADC’s permit application is pending TDEC approval with TDEC representatives scheduled to meet with Hickman County elected officials this Friday, February 24.
To learn more, you can visit SaveLickCreek.com or their Facebook page.