MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Germantown leaders say they will conduct a thorough review of how the city handled its recent water contamination crisis.

James Lewellen, the former Collierville Town Administrator, has been selected to lead that review. He was elected by Germantown Mayor Palazzolo to conduct the assessment, effective immediately.

“Our community was devastated after losing access to our much-needed water system; a thorough and independent review of all the City’s processes and procedures regarding this crisis is a critical step toward identifying opportunities for improvement,” Mayor Palazzolo said. “Mr. Lewellen has the required skills, knowledge, and content area expertise to perform this scope of work.”

Preliminary findings are expected within the next 45 days and Lewellen will be able to select individuals to assist him during the review.

After 90 days, a final report will be presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The project is expected to include the following:

  • Consultation with representatives from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to gain an understanding of the regulatory framework and environmental standards for water systems and required remediation actions.
  • Comprehensive analysis of the City’s actions in response to the contamination.
  • Review of records, traditional media reports, and social media postings to understand the information provided to the public in the days following the contamination.
  • Interviews with employees involved in or who have substantial knowledge of the communication efforts during the crisis.
  • Review of the operational response to the crisis and itemization of the ramifications of the crisis on overall City operations.
  • Interviews with various segments of the community to understand how the crisis affected business owners, healthcare providers, restaurants, and a random sample of residents.