Officials say it could take months to fix Chattahoochee water systems after high E. Coli levels

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is issuing a warning to swimmers, boaters, and kayakers who may be accessing a dangerous 70-mile stretch that continues testing positive for high levels of E. Coli.

Channel 2′s Elizabeth Rawlins was at one of the at-risk areas in Mableton off of Riverview Road on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m.

State regulators said this isn’t a typical accidental spill.

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This is a systematic and chronic defect within the plant. It could take months to get fixed and until then, the Riverkeeper said there needs to be signs.

The Riverkeeper said they contacted the environmental protection division after they conducted multiple tests that revealed high levels of E. Coli in the 70-mile stretch downstream of the RM Clayton Plant in Northwest Atlanta.

“There should be signs. This is a family neighborhood,” said Xavion Williams, a neighbor.

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper said a warning is being issued to those who may be accessing the river downstream going towards Westpoint Lake.

This includes public access points in Cobb County off of Riverview Road.

“There are failures at every level within the plant right now. This was not just a broken valve or something easy to fix, the entire plant is in shambles and it’s going to take some time to get everything up and working properly,” said Jason Ulseth, executive director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.


The Riverkeeper is concerned because the last time contamination levels were this high was last summer when Fulton County crews closed access points between Roswell and Sandy Springs and posted warning signs.

Even though this contamination is unrelated and coming from a completely different site, experts say the severity of the levels is four times what they were compared to last year.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to the City of Atlanta, still waiting to hear back.

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