City ends contract with J&H after company allows 1.8 million gallons sewage spill

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Sept. 1 to terminate the contract between the city and J&H Construction, after a sewer overflow occurred around May 15 near the old Riverview school along the Little Duck River. The spill was estimated to have been 1,8 million gallons.

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Sept. 1 to terminate the contract between the city and J&H Construction, after a sewer overflow occurred around May 15 near the old Riverview school along the Little Duck River. The spill was estimated to have been 1,8 million gallons, according to a letter from MWSD to the state Environmental Field Office.  

“The manhole was due to contractor abandoning the pumping operations,” the letter states.

J&H Construction was performing sewer rehabilitation, and “no one with the Manchester Water and Sewer Department was notified that the pumping operation was no longer being monitored.”

“J&H Construction allowed the pumps to run out of fuel,” the letter states. “Manchester Water and Sewer employees discovered the pump failure on Monday morning (May 18) and took immediately action to restore by-pass pumping operations.”

With no action from J&H, the MWSD restarted the pumps, stopped the overflow, and cleaned the site. The department contacted the State of Tennessee officials to notify them of what had occurred and to ask for any additional guidance, according to Bryan Pennington, Director of Manchester Water and Sewer Department.

In the meantime, about 1,840,000 gallons spilled into the river.

“The Manchester Water and Sewer Department will pursue its claim with the bonding company and should recover most if not all of its loss,” Pennington said.

BOMA members voted unanimously to terminate the contract with the company.

J&H Construction is based in Cookeville. James Hall is the president of the company.

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