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Phase II to incorporate 2, 060 feet of restoration
After much success in its initial phase of the restoration of Jesters Creek, the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) began construction recently on the creek's second phase of restoration, just upstream from Reynolds Road.
East Jesters Creek flows from Forest Park into Flint River in Jonesboro, Ga. This portion of the creek passes through numerous subdivisions and commercial developments, including Southlake Mall.
After conducting watershed assessment studies, the CCWA found more pollutants in the Jesters Creek than normal, including a variety of contaminants from lawns, businesses and roads, said Mike Thomas, manager of the program management and engineering for the CCWA. This was most likely a direct result of development in the area.
Severely eroded stream banks, sand clogged stream channels and limited aquatic life are just some of the problems that have occurred in this area of Jesters Creek.
"The stream restoration project aims to return the stream to its natural condition, prevent erosion of the banks, improve habitat within the stream and improve the quality of our drinking water supply," Thomas said. "It is our hope that fish will soon be swimming in this part of East Jesters Creek again."
CCWA has qualified for a grant from the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) because of its efforts to restore local streams in need of improvements The grant should provide up to $372,000 for the project. In addition, the City of Morrow, Ga., will contribute $110,000 to the cause since the project site is within the city limits. The total cost of the project will be over $500,000.
Stream restoration projects are necessary in order to prevent further stream bank erosion, which can cause sedimentation to settle in the stream, making it more difficult to treat this raw water once it enters a drinking water production facility. Stream restoration also helps to replenish the stream's aquatic life habitat.