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VININGS: Chattahoochee named among 'dirtiest' waterways | News

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VININGS: Chattahoochee named among 'dirtiest' waterways

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Water Coalition, a collective of environmentalists' groups have come out with their new list of the 12 worst waterways in the state.

The coalition says they are blaming the condition of the waterways on a lack of oversight and enforcement on the part of state agencies, who are supposed to be responsible for keeping the rivers clean and safe.

One problem the coalition points toward is the intersection between the Chattahoochee River and Peachtree Creek, which they say carries toxic wastes from the city of Atlanta.

The Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a watchdog group, says the state has failed to monitor the minimum flow in the river at Atlanta to ensure water quality south of the city. They say there is not enough fast-moving water mixing with toxic wastes from Atlanta to keep the river's water properly diluted.

The Riverkeeper's executive director, Sally Bethea, says there must be a continual monitoring of the flow of water to prevent toxic material from flowing downstream. She says the state is not responding to those needs.

"We are very frustrated because for years we have asked the State to make sure we are monitoring flows at this critical location and they have refused to do so. We need to verify to confirm; we need accountability. The River needs enough water so that it can assimilate the waste so it doesn't get toxic downstream," Bethea said.

11Alive's Bill Liss tried to contact the state's Environmental Protection Division for a response to Bethea and the Georgia Water Coalition. Their reply was a "no comment."

According to Bethea, the state says they don't have enough money to handle it.

"They just say it's hard to do. They say they don't have the money. We have even offered to provide funds to keep with the monitoring," Bethea said.

The full list of waterways on the "Georgia's Dirty Dozen" list from the Georgia Water Coalition:

  1. Ogeechee River
  2. Altamaha River
  3. Savannah River
  4. Chattahoochee River
  5. Shoal Creek and Flat Creek
  6. Oconee & Ogeechee Rivers
  7. Flint River
  8. Coastal Wetlands
  9. South Georgia Wetlands
  10. Broad River
  11. Brier & Commissioner Creeks
  12. Coosa River

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