(Photo courtesy Chattahoochee Riverkeeper)

Environmental organization Chattahoochee Riverkeeper has reported that nearly 10,000 gallons of raw sewage entered Atlanta’s Tanyard Creek last week when a private lift station at an apartment complex shut down, causing the waste to flow directly into the stream instead of into the city’s sewer system. Power at the complex had been turned off because of bill non-payment.

The sewage contaminated the creek, which flows through the Collier Hills neighborhood, with extremely high bacteria levels (120,000 MPN) and caused a large fish kill.

CRK investigated the spill through its Neighborhood Water Watch Program and brought it to the attention of the city’s Department of Watershed Management (DWM). Personnel from DWM located the source and had the power restored. CRK water samples taken this week show that life is returning to Tanyard Creek and that bacteria levels have dropped to 600 MPN (235 MPN is the standard for body contact/recreation).