Over the past four months, a new system implemented by the city of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management that calls for units to communicate better has prevented 10 spills.
Had the policy been in place last year, at least two spills that have cost the city $113,000 could have been prevented. Last December, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, slapped the city with the heavy fine after two spills dumped nearly gallons of untreated sewage into local waterways.
One spill, which occurred in January 2012 at Ridgeway Heights, dumped more than 22 million gallons of sewage in a creek. Initially, the city reported that it was about 94,000 gallons. But watershed commissioner Jo Ann Macrina said the department soon discovered that the leak had occurred several days before it was reported.
The city self-reported the error to EPD, Macrina said.
She said now a “flow monitoring” group has been charged with working closer to a “spill monitoring” group to form a Spill Response Team to catch breaks early and hopefully prevent them.