The battle of “David and Goliath” is brewing at Lick Creek

  • Rodes Hart and Amanda Mathis wrote this guest column on behalf of the Friends of Lick Creek.

You may not have heard of it, but in Hickman County, a fight is brewing.

Lick Creek is a spectacular waterway that runs through the heart of Hickman County, Tennessee. It empties directly into the Duck River, a river that stands out as the most bio-diverse river in North America.

Lick Creek, named “Tennessee’s Great Water” by the state, serves as the primary source of drinking water for its residents, wildlife and livestock on century-old, multi-generational farms along its banks.

The Water Authority of Dickson County (WADC) has proposed the construction of a large regional sewage treatment plant near Bon Aqua that threatens Hickman County’s economic well-being, natural resources, wildlife and the health of its residents.

Make no mistake: this is a question that should concern all Tennesseans. It is eminent domain, the greed, disrespect, and destruction that plagues an unsuspecting community. It can happen in other cities just as easily as in Hickman County.

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Why we are fighting local authorities for a sewage treatment plant

The WADC pursued this development completely in obscurity. There are no published public meeting minutes, no previous studies, no alternatives, and very little research is available.

The water department says it conducted a three-year study into the potential impacts of flooding from the sewage treatment plant – but the report itself is nowhere to be found.

The Mayor and Hickman County Commissioners all say they were unaware of the WADC study and proposal. Hickman County has the right to control its own destiny, not have something of this magnitude forced upon its citizens.

The proposed plant would treat and discharge sewage into Lick Creek, flooding the creek with more than 12 million gallons per day of sewage effluent. The creek’s natural daily flow is only 8.5 million gallons during the summer months.

Rodes Hart

What boggles the mind is that 97% of this sewage would not come from Hickman County residents – it would come from neighboring Williamson and Dickson counties.

Clearly, Williamson and Dickson counties have the resources to manage their own waste – their residents just don’t want to pollute their own counties.

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Residents take great pride in Hickman’s natural resources

Beautiful waterways like Lick Creek attract investment and increase property taxes in Hickman County. They improve the emotional, spiritual and physical health of residents and visitors. They are a tourist magnet for outdoor enthusiasts in urban areas and a way of life for local citizens.

Amanda Mathis

This proposed project offers virtually no social or economic benefit to Hickman Countians. Instead, it simply serves as a “toilet” into which wealthier neighboring counties can dispose of their trash. WADC sees Hickman County as nothing more than a profit center and dumping ground.

This is a David and Goliath scenario where a quasi-public entity tries to spin an entire community just for its own financial gain. The citizens of Hickman County are deeply proud of the county’s irreplaceable natural resources – resources that are essential to their livelihoods and central to the county’s tourism and economy.

Residents of Hickman County are proud to call their county and their waterways proud and wish to preserve them for many generations to come. Hickman County will not sit idly by and allow the WADC to pollute Lick Creek, seize property for plants and pipes, and defile the way of life its citizens hold dear.

To learn more and join our fight, visit our website (, join our Facebook group (Save Lick Creek), follow us on Instagram (@savelickcreek) or email us at [email protected] .com.

Rodes Hart and Amanda Mathis wrote this guest column on behalf of the Friends of Lick Creek.

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