Savannah Riverkeeper says it's closing in on Brier Creek fish kill source

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011 8:05 PM
Last updated Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 5:23 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Savannah Riverkeeper has narrowed down the source of the Brier Creek fish kill to the Reedy Creek between Georgia Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 221 in Jefferson County, Ga.

On Sunday, Tonya Bonitatibus, the executive director of Savannah Riverkeeper, went on a flyover of the area and was able to narrow the origin considerably by performing tests on the water in surrounding areas.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has reported that the cause of the fish kill was related to drop in pH. In a status report on the incident, Savannah River­keeper said the characteristics of the fish kill indicate poisoning by aluminum sulfate – used as a coagulant in kaolin mining and sewage treatment.

Elevated levels of alum were also detected at the city of Waynesboro, Ga.’s drinking water filtration plant, which has been closed.

Bonitatibus said the Riverkeeper will have to wait a few days for the tests to come back before the exact data from the flyover can be released.

After the flyover, Savannah Riverkeeper hosted a public meeting in Keysville, Ga., to discuss the next steps.

About 100 residents and politicians attended the meeting, including state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, and Keysville Mayor Maggie Cartwright. Notably missing, Bonitatibus said, was a representative from EPD.

Bonitatibus said she hopes to find who is responsible for the apparent dump, and that residents would likely sue. Savannah Riverkeeper will also take legal action.

Bonitatibus said the most disturbing thing she discovered was that the creek was impacted 25 miles south of where the fish kill ended.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
jbartley
582
Points
jbartley 10/31/11 - 11:27 pm
0
0
Keep up the hard work

Keep up the hard work Tonya!!!

Riverman1
87013
Points
Riverman1 10/31/11 - 11:44 pm
0
0
I encourage Tonya to

I encourage Tonya to galvanize the organization to fight the plan to decrease the flow from Thurmond Dam which would harm the river and change its character forever. Fish kills like this will be much more prevalent with reduced water in the river.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/31/11 - 11:46 pm
0
0
As much as we pay for our

As much as we pay for our environmental regulators, it takes a private organization to run it down??? Are they in the pockets of the Kaolin companies or something? It smells fishy, no pun intended.

Little Lamb
46999
Points
Little Lamb 11/01/11 - 07:52 am
0
0
Imagine this, RM: if there

Imagine this, RM: if there was not one single dam on the river and we were in this serious drought, you would have a MUCH reduced flow near your home. The lakes are allowing much more flow than would be the case if mother nature were controlling the flow.

Little Lamb
46999
Points
Little Lamb 11/01/11 - 08:07 am
0
0
Summer Moore reported: In a

Summer Moore reported:

In a status report on the incident, Savannah River­keeper said the characteristics of the fish kill indicate poisoning by aluminum sulfate – used as a coagulant in kaolin mining and sewage treatment.

Aluminum sulfate is also an additive used in the purification process in potable water plants. It is regularly added to water at Waynesboro's Brier Creek filtration plant. Aluminum sulfate is also added to Augusta's potable water and Columbia County's potable water.

Riverman1
87013
Points
Riverman1 11/01/11 - 01:39 pm
0
0
LL said, "Imagine this, RM:

LL said, "Imagine this, RM: if there was not one single dam on the river and we were in this serious drought, you would have a MUCH reduced flow near your home. The lakes are allowing much more flow than would be the case if mother nature were controlling the flow."

Now that's an interesting idea, no dams anywhere on the river. But there wouldn't be a lake either. But I won't concede the point about a reduced flow in the river. There are too many factors. Tributaries would back up and form a constant governor, etc. My cove was here before any dams. Some history books say it's where the Spanish crossed into SC.

Little Lamb
46999
Points
Little Lamb 11/01/11 - 01:41 pm
0
0
The point I was making is

The point I was making is that the Corps is guaranteeing you 3,100 cfs of river flow even in droughts. If there were no impoundment dams above your house, you would get less than 3,100 during drought periods such as this. The river survived low flows before the dams were built, so it can survive low flows now.

mooseye
266
Points
mooseye 11/02/11 - 07:35 pm
0
0
Even though this has nothing

Even though this has nothing to do with the subject of the article, most of the river flow whiners must not know that the dams were built to control flooding.
Let us knock down all dams and move all the residents of flood prone cities to the hills.

Riverman1
87013
Points
Riverman1 11/03/11 - 04:29 pm
0
0
Mooseye, you are exactly

Mooseye, you are exactly right, the purpose of the lake is flood control and power generation. Not to keep a full lake for recreation.

I just heard a guy saying he had done a Freedom of Information Act and obtained all the letters sent to the Corps concerning the flow from the lake. He said ALL the letters supported reducing flows.

I guess he missed my letter and those of many supporters of saving the Savannah River. But that's okay, our organizations will be even more energetic this time with our letters so he doesn't miss them.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs