Flat Creek near Gainesville, Ga. has suffered a spill of 187,500 gal of partially treated wastewater due to an improperly closed valve.
Flat Creek, part of the Chattahoochee River system, was inundated with the large spill from its source at the Flat Creek Water Reclamation Facility. The spill lasted just beyond 90 minutes, and was comprised mainly of water in the final stages of the treatment process, according to Horace Gee, environmental compliance manager for the Gainesville Department of Water Resources.
“It’s basically a final filtration process,” Gee said. “When the water finally reaches the tertiary treatment process, it’s cleaner than four permitted (plants) north of us. If I put it in a glass beaker along with tap water, you would not know the difference in the two beakers of water.”
According to Gee and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental conservation group focused on cleaning the river system, the spilled water will not have adverse effects on Flat Creek or nearby Lake Lanier, claiming that dirtier water flows into the creek following heavy rain.
“There’ll be more impact on Lake Lanier in the next 24 hours because of Mother Nature than what we experienced on Wednesday,” said Gee.
As a result of the spill, Gainesville will now have to consistently report to the EPD on the water quality Flat Creek for the next year.