City water main break has deadly consequences for Tennessee aquarium, officials say

Several animals at the Tennessee Aquarium are dead after a water main break.

A 36-inch main broke late Thursday near Tennessee American Water’s plant in Chattanooga, leaving customers in downtown and north Chattanooga with low to no water pressure and prompting boil water advisories in the area, according to a release from the company.

The aquarium staff was called in Thursday to care for the animals after the break, which affected the temperatures of some tanks, the aquarium said in a release Friday.

Despite attempts to save them, four fish, some sea stars, urchins and anemones in the aquarium’s Vancouver Island exhibit died, the aquarium said.

“These animals are very sensitive to warming waters and did not respond to attempts to chill the tank with ice,” the aquarium said in the release.

As of Saturday, the aquarium’s water pressure had been restored and the chiller systems were working again, the aquarium wrote on Facebook, and it was able to reopen.

“We want to thank everyone for their support during the past 24 hours,” the aquarium wrote on Facebook.

The water main was repaired early Saturday morning and operating conditions were returning to normal, Tennessee American Water said in a release.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.