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South Georgians meet about Flint River sewage spills

South Georgians meet about Flint River sewage spills
South Georgians meet about Flint River sewage spills
Posted at 3:00 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 23:04:25-04

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dozens of South Georgians expressed concern over the safety of the water in the Flint River after several sewage spills. And in a meeting on Tuesday night, the Flint Riverkeepers and Albany city officials answered their questions.

"People want information and they deserve to know everything we know and everything that the city knows," said Flint Riverkeepers Executive Director Gordon Rogers.

Citizens poured into the Episcopal Church of Saint John and Saint Mark to voice their concerns and get answers.

"Information, peace of mind, and maybe a plan of action," said resident Mark Mitchell.

Mitchell and his family have lived on the Flint for nearly 20 years and he wanted answers.

"We also want to know if it's safe for our grandchildren to swim in the water," said Mitchell.

Opening up the forum, Rogers focused on the topic of CSO which is Combined Sewer Overflow.

"It's a big infrastructure problem that we need to solve as a family," explained Rogers.

Mitchell agreed and said that he would like to see more leadership by the city in terms of fixing the infrastructure problem.

"These are problems that we've been aware of for a long time that our sewer system is overloading and nothing has been done about it," said Mitchell.

Albany City Manager Phil Roberson was there and addressed questions from residents about how the city is working to fix this problem by trying to separate stormwater and sewage, as well as fixing the infrastructure problem they've had for years but said it takes time.

"Is the water safe?" asked Mitchell.

Rogers said they are testing the water quality weekly and those results will be available for viewing, but right now it is safe.

And what about the fish?

"Anything you cook at 375 for about 8 or 10 minutes, you can eat them," explained Rogers.

Rogers said he is very pleased with the community input and hopes the city will continue to work at fixing these issues.

"It's their river," said Rogers. "It doesn't belong to Flint Riverkeepers, it belongs to everybody in the community upstream and down from Atlanta to Lake Seminole."

Roberson said the city of Albany website and Flint Riverkeepers Facebook page are now posting their water testing results.