Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Oconee County Reporting A Sewer Spill Into Barber Creek Due To Mars Hill Widening Project

Upstream From Subdivisions

The Oconee County Utility Department is reporting a spill of 5,500 gallons of sewage into a tributary of Barber Creek as a result of the widening of Mars Hill Road.

The spill occurred at 11 a.m. on Friday when the contractor for the Mars Hill Road construction project hit the force main at the corner of Mars Hill and Daniells Bridge roads, causing a break in the line, according to the county.

This was the fifth sewage spill reported by the county since the first of the year. Two spills were reported on May 29 alone.

In addition, in late April the county acknowledged that the Calls Creek sewage treatment plant had been discharging an unknown volume of improperly treated water over an unknown period of time into Calls Creek.

Spill Into Piped Stream

The sewage spill on Friday was into a piped tributary of Barber Creek. That stream surfaces at Barber Creek Drive and Mars Hill Road and then flows into Barber Creek at the new bridge.

Tributary Enters At Left

From there, Barber Creek flows through a number of subdivisions before joining McNutt Creek and then the Middle Oconee River.

The Utility Department reported today that signs have been placed at the bridge in Barber Creek Corporate Park and also at the creek side downstream from that bridge.

The notice on the county web site states that the county is testing the stream for pH, temperature, fecal coliform and dissolved oxygen. “The initial test results show no adverse effects to the water quality,” the notice states.

The county web site indicates the notice was posted there yesterday.

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