A January spill from a broken sewage main in Union City resulted in 18.5 million gallons of raw sewage entering Whitewater Creek and Morning Creek. Neither of the creeks serves the Fayette County drinking water system.
Fayette County Water System Director Lee Pope said the January sewer main breaks in Union City resulted in 4.4 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into Whitewater Creek and 14.1 million gallons into Morning Creek.
Both creeks have their origin in Union City, and neither are part of the Fayette County water reservoir system, said Pope, adding that both creeks eventually flow through Fayette and into the Flint River.
Pertaining to Whitewater Creek which flows into the Starr’s Mill area, Pope said it has been a couple of years since water has been pumped from Whitewater Creek.
Fayette’s primary drinking water reservoirs today include Lake McIntosh and Lake Horton.
Lake McIntosh is fed by Line Creek, which originates on the CSX Intermodal property in Fairburn.
Lake Horton is fed by Antioch Creek and Woolsey Creek, both of which originate south Fayette.
Though not currently being used as a drinking water reservoir, Lake Peachtree is fed by Gin Branch, Kedron Creek and Flat Creek, all of which originate in the Tyrone area.
Pope said Fayette does have a permit to pump water from the Flint River, but only when the river is above flood stage. Pope said water has not been pumped from the Flint River in more than a year.
Pope said neighboring water districts do inform Fayette when spills occur.
Fayette customarily take water samples from a variety of creeks around the county on a quarterly basis, though Pope said the water system is now moving to a monthly basis to see if a change in quality is detected.