Fewer sewage spills mean visitors are returning to the Flint River

People are back on the Flint for the summer

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Flint River Keeper's Office says there is good news along the Flint this summer.

Fishermen, kayakers and boaters are returning to the river.

While it was extremely quiet on the Flint River Thursday, volunteers with the Flint River Keeper’s Office said on the weekends, this place is packed full of kayaks and visitors. Which was not the case just one year ago.

Last summer, most people were avoiding the Flint River. They were fishing and kayaking on the Lee County creeks instead. This year, river visitors are returning.

David Dixon is a Flint River Keeper Board Member.
David Dixon is a Flint River Keeper Board Member. (Source: WALB)

“The water quality has been very good this year so far,” said David Dixon, a Flint River Keeper Board Member.

In May 2018, 90,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Flint. And that was just the start of a series of spills to follow in the coming months.

More sewage spilled into the Flint in June, July and then again in August. City officials decided to spend around one point five million dollars to repair 10 lift stations that seemed to need the most immediate care. The spills seemed to be under control until heavy rain leads to one point two million gallons of sewage to spill in December.

Since then, the city has hired an engineer and a new contractor to maintain the sewer systems. While they’ve managed to keep the sewage out of the Flint, the people are making their way back.

“Much like the Kincahfoonee Creek, you see a lot more people on the River on the weekends,” said Dixon.

As a Flint River Keeper Board Member, David Dixon, said with the measures the city is taking now to try and prevent any more spills, people in the area are more encouraged to get back on the water.

“A lot more people are hearing about it, so they’re getting out there and enjoying the river. And that’s what we’re all about,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the Flint River Keeper’s office will continue to monitor the sewage system and anything dealing with the river.

While there are more visitors, Dixon also wants to remind people to pick up their trash and throw it away before they leave.

They want to see more visitors and less trash.

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