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Recreational Advisory Issued for Watts Bar Reservoir

Release Date: 06/17/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(ATLANTA – June 17, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have issued an advisory regarding boating, swimming and fishing on Watts Bar Reservoir.

The advisory applies to two sections of the Watts Bar Reservoir:

    (1) Emory River Section
    The public is cautioned to avoid recreational use of the lower Emory River in the vicinity of the ash release down to the confluence of the Emory and Clinch Rivers, which includes adjacent coves, inlets, islands, and sand bars. Small vessel traffic is currently channeled through a well-marked navigational lane, but swimming, jet skiing; water skiing and tubing are not advised at this time in these areas. In addition to construction-related risks, contact with submerged or floating ash should be avoided, and if ash is contacted it should be washed off with soap and water. Chronic exposure by incidental ingestion and inhalation should also be avoided.

    (2) Clinch River and Tennessee River Sections
    Water-based recreation on the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers should not be impacted this season and can continue. It is safe to swim, boat and eat most kinds of fish. See TDEC's website for more information about already existing fish consumption advisories.

EPA’s advisory map can be found at

Individual requiring further information or instructions regarding recreational use of Watts Bar Reservoir should contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, Stephanie Y. Brown at 1-800-564-7577 or 678-575-8505. An additional point of contact is the Roane County Health Department, which can be reached at 865-354-1220.

For more information about EPA’s oversight and response activities at the Kingston site, visit: and