Germantown water testing well, but no green light yet

By , Daily Memphian Updated: July 26, 2023 12:45 PM CT | Published: July 25, 2023 6:06 PM CT

The city is flushing its water system after a good day of testing results, but it’s not clear when all residents may return to normal usage of water.

Water service will be phased in, the city said Tuesday afternoon. But the timeline is unclear as a number of tests must be passed.

“We know this situation has been an incredible inconvenience, disrupting the everyday lives of our families and businesses and we apologize for that,” Mayor Mike Palazzolo said in a video update Tuesday. “Know that from the very beginning our main priority has always been your safety and well-being.”

Germantown to continue water distribution Tuesday

Thursday the city urged residents to use water only for flushing toilets after approximately 100 gallons of diesel leaked into a water reservoir at the water treatment plant on Southern Avenue. The city said about 4.2 million gallons of water were contaminated. Sunday, areas east of Forest Hill-Irene and the Enclave and Landsdowne neighborhoods were able to begin consumption of the water.

Although tests were clear Tuesday, current flushing and testing is recommended by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

When residents can use water, private homes will have to flush their own systems.

Over the last 24 hours additional contamination was discovered in soil near a pipe with clean water. There was a breach in the pipe which allowed diesel oil to enter the water. The pipe has been repaired and the soil will be removed as required by regulations.

What we know — and don’t know — about the water in Germantown

Tuesday, Germantown Municipal School District answered concerns about a delay in the return to school due to the ongoing crisis. Dogwood Elementary School, Farmington Elementary School and Riverdale School are west of Forest Hill-Irene, where water is not potable. Staff is scheduled to return next week.

“Rest assured that we are exploring all avenues with full intentions to have our schools ready for staff to return next week and to welcome our students back on August 9th, as originally planned,” the district said.

GMSD is currently working on a plan and will share the information with parents ahead of the start of school should the water crisis continue.


Germantown Germantown water southern avenue water plant
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


Want to comment on our stories or respond to others? Join the conversation by subscribing now. Only paid subscribers can add their thoughts or upvote/downvote comments. Our commenting policy can be viewed here