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Oak Ridge Reservation

Watts Bar Reservoir

Historical Document

This Web site is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.

During the past 50 years waterborne contaminants (radionuclides, metals, and organic compounds) were released from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation, into tributaries of the Clinch River and were transported into the Watts Bar Reservoir. Contaminants from the Oak Ridge Reservation, and other industrial sites in the Tennessee River watershed, were found in the reservoir suspended in water, bio-concentrated in fish, and bound to particles suspended in the water or settled out in the sediment.

The Watts Bar Reservoir study area includes the Clinch River and the Lower Watts Bar Reservoir. The Clinch River extends from Melton Hill Dam to where the Tennessee and Clinch Rivers join in Kingston, Tennessee. This includes the Poplar Creek embayment from the mouth of Poplar Creek along the Clinch River to its joining with East Fork Poplar Creek. The Lower Watts Bar Reservoir stretches from the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Clinch River downstream to the Watts Bar Dam.

ATSDR scientists conducted a health consultation, a community and physician education program, and an exposure investigation in response to health concerns of residents living in the area of the Watts Bar Reservoir. 

Health Consultation

Exposure Investigation

Educational Program

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