Tuscaloosa looking to change its dock electrical permit policy - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tuscaloosa looking to change its dock electrical permit policy

Lake Tuscaloosa. (Terri Brewer/WBRC) Lake Tuscaloosa. (Terri Brewer/WBRC)
Source: WBRC Source: WBRC

A Tuscaloosa City Council committee discussed safety on Lake Tuscaloosa, specifically to structures with electrical power on the lake Tuesday.

The city of Tuscaloosa cracking down on requiring all Lake docks to have electricity permits and now Dock business owners are weighing in. 

Deck designer, Bama Docks owner Terrell Hattaway knows a lot about making sure his are installed securely.

Although he doesn't deal with the electrical side of things, he refers his customers to those that do the job and agrees the city should make sure it's done right.

“The city is doing a really good job they are really looking into new codes, and compliance codes with all the docks and electrical that's being put on the docks,” said Hattaway.

The deputy director of Infrastructure and public services Jarrod Milligan is proposing a temporary inspector in the meantime assess all of the docks.

“It's important from a life safety standpoint to make sure that any electrical component is installed properly. We want to ensure so there's no electrical hazards on the lake,” said Milligan.

 In the spring, when two women were killed on Lake Tuscaloosa, investigators said preliminary autopsy results showed the deaths were a result of electric shock drowning.

“It may be electrical shock drowning or people feeling tingling around the docks,” said Milligan.

Electric shock drowning happens when electric current leaks into the water, often from a deck or marina, and someone is either paralyzed and unable to swim or electrocuted.

Hattaway said It's not just his customers he wants out of harm’s way.

“I have kids and grandkids that jump off this dock and so I want to make sure and I think everyone does that safety is a priority,” said Hattaway.

Milligan said they discussed including warning signage for all structures with electricity, a requirement of annual inspections and a requirement of electrical disconnects on the shoreline.

Over the next month, the city plans to share their policy changes in details to the community and a  recommendation could be made by August.

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