Sewage spill kills hundreds of fish -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sewage spill kills hundreds of fish

September 19, 2003

 (Rome-AP) -- Residents in Rome say they have health concerns because of a ten-thousand-gallon sewage spill that killed hundreds of fish in a creek. Greenish swirls of raw sewage can still be seen in Little Dry Creek several days after a nearby main break caused the spill Sunday.

Officials say the break happened when a large rock was thrown down a manhole, causing the backup and rupture of a 60-year-old line.

Glade Jacobson lives next to the creek. He says he would like a chemist to test the water. Gary Beisser is a fish biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, says the sewage caused the oxygen supply to drop to one-fifth of its normal level, killing more than 500 fish.

He says he cannot comment on the health risk that the sewage may pose to humans. But as Beisser puts it, "It's raw sewage in the creek. You can draw your conclusions from that."

Rome water and sewer director Leigh Ross says the sewage is only dangerous if a person wades into it. The city posted a warning sign on the tributary, as required by law, that will stay up for seven days.

Ross says officials made an official report of the spill Tuesday to the state Environmental Protection Division, which probably will fine the city several thousand dollars.

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