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Phenix City sewage leak in creek connected to the Chattahoochee River

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Concerns about a sewage leak in an East Alabama creek that connects to the Chattahoochee River. We talked to some farmers being impacted by what they say has been an on-and-off problem for years.

Dead fish floating up on the banks have been the most alarming thing those farmers noticed. They say they’ve talked to some city officials but haven’t gotten many answers. Now, they’re just waiting on a creek they often use to clear up.

“Well, we all grew up playing in this creek, fishing in this creek, riding four-wheelers in this creek. And all that is over with until they get this fixed up and we can -- I mean, we use it for work too, not just for playing recreation. So it’s really impacting us big time,” said Phenix City resident Justin Farrar.

Two farmers say the fish started floating belly up after a sewage leak in Seven-mile creek in Phenix City.

“It started probably killing the fish Tuesday. And we were smelling a little bit last week, but you know, the major impacts been yesterday and today you could even see the foam from people bathing and washing clothes. You know, yesterday morning,” said Phenix City farmer Pat Rollo.

He says chances are the leak may have flowed into Georgia.

“Can’t be healthy because this creek goes into actually little Uchee Creek. Little Uchee Creek goes into big Uchee, and big Uchee goes into the Chattahoochee at Fort Benning,” said Rollo.

News Leader 9′s Ahniaelyah Spraggs reached out to Phenix City’s water department. While they didn’t release much information, an engineer there tells me the leak was caused by a malfunction with a wastewater lift station. John Spraggins also says when two pumps wouldn’t cut on, the water level kept building up and eventually overflowed. But, farmers who depend on the creek for work say they hope it will be cleaned soon.

“We can’t pump the water out of it. We use it to fill up our tanks to spray with. We can’t clean our machines with it. Thank God we pump out of another creek which is above this one for the irrigation,” said Rollo.

“The creek used to be clear and pretty. And now you can tell it’s dark black and stank to high heavens,” said Farrar.

No word yet on when exactly the creek in Phenix City will be clean and flowing properly. However, I’m told the city has ordered a new part to fix the malfunctioning pumps.

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