Fear Of Swimming In Local River After Major Sewer Leak

By Eames Yates
July 26, 2013

Valdosta, GA - After eight million gallons of raw sewage leaked into the Withlacoochee river, the city of Valdosta has contained the waste. Which started at the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant due to the heavy rains. But many who live downriver feel their problems aren't over... especially if you want to go swimming.

Lucile Collins lives next to the river. She said "some of my family members do go back there and with the debris and stuff, the sewer in there, I'm sure they wont get in there now."

Markis Jackson also lives near the river. He said "I didn't want to get in the river with sewer because it might get in your mouth."

Some residents that border the river feel it's not just locals that suffer. Daniel Miller said "it will cause a lot of people to stay home and go to different areas away from Georgia and all the rivers and just go out of state and it will lead to the drop in Georgia's recreational profits."

But the city says things are pretty much back to normal. John Waite is the city's environmental manager. He said "our upstream downstream bacterialogical sampling has shown that there is no longterm adverse impact on water quality in the river."

Officials say the most recent samples they've taken downstream in Valdosta are similar to the samples taken upstream which was not affected by the spill.

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