Flood waters raise e-coli levels in GA rivers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flood waters raise e-coli levels in GA rivers

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Officials are watching high levels of E-coli bacteria in the Chattahoochee River.

That's because a sewage treatment plan in metro Atlanta was overrun by flood water last week. E-coli levels in the Chattahoochee are 42 times greater than the highest safe level. Even though that river does flow in southwest Georgia, experts say the contamination will be diluted before it gets here.

Doug Wilson with the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center said a lot of that debris and sediment will be filtered out by the soil and lakes along the way.

"You get a dilution affect there isn't any doubt about that but having said that there is an awful lot of nasty stuff in there," said Doug Wilson, Georgia Water Planning & Policy Executive Director.

For farmers in Southwest Georgia who rely on that water for irrigation purposes, Wilson said it should be safe to use.

Those pulling fish out of streams and creeks to eat should also be okay. State and federal officials say they'll continue to closely monitoring water quality to protect the health of the public.

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