GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — A day after a big public meeting on the water crisis, many Germantown residents are still not satisfied with the answers from the city.
There was a packed meeting Thursday evening as Germantown residents sought answers from city leaders on the safety of their water. A day later, not everyone is convinced, wanting to know where they tested, what the test results were, and who is in charge of the testing.
“I don’t trust that the information they are giving us is accurate. And I am concerned, so much so that my boys are not drinking Germantown water. They are on bottled water,” said Germantown resident Michael O’Neal.
“Everyone has a certain amount of anxiety,” Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo said. “I mean water is very important. We take it for granted and so we will have to earn back people’s trust. We have to be dependable. We have to earn that back. We have to earn back that trust.”
After informing residents that the person behind the diesel spill had been fired, Palazzolo went before TV cameras explaining why there was such a big discrepancy between the 100 gallons of fuel the city initially said was spilled and the 250 to 300 gallons they now admit may have gotten into the water.
“It’s hard to determine how much fuel went into the tank, how much the generator was using during or before refueling,” Palazzolo said. “So all these things are somewhat difficult to estimate. That’s why there was an estimation made.”
That was enough to rattle some who are seeking answers.
“The fact they are gonna continue to flush the hydrants means they think there is still residual in the system and the fact that they could not respond and say they guarantee clean water and will take full liability,” Germantown resident Jonathan Ferebe said.
Palazzolo still stands by how they’ve handled things.
“I have a certain amount of pride in my team that they made a decision to notify the community there is an emergency,” Palazzolo said. “There are a lot of communities around the country that would do that differently. We notified people, told them not to drink their water. We made sure that we self-disclosed.”
“I think the administration is working very hard to try to look into all aspects of this to try to prevent it from happening again,” Germantown resident Carol Miller said.
Germantown did announce they will do an independent review of their system and they are in the process of selecting a person right now who understands governmental services.