Monday, December 5, 2011

Southwest Atlanta creek mysteriously turns gray

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 9:10 AM

WHITE WATER Perkerson Park creek turns white over the weekend
  • Andisheh Nouraee
  • WACKY WATER Perkerson Park creek changed colors on Saturday
A creek in southwest Atlanta — which for years has turned various colors of the rainbow thanks to illegal dumping and pollution — changed to a creepy shade this weekend.

Twitter master, former CL columnist and all-around decent human being Andisheh Nouraee this weekend noticed that water flowing from a tunnel into a creek in Perkerson Park, a popular recreational area in Capitol View, was an ominous gray color.

"Whatever it was, the quantity was huge (relative to the creek's flow)," he writes in an email. "The entire creek was steadily flowing that awful color for at least several minutes. I couldn't hang around to see if it cleared up."

He snapped several photos, which we've posted above, and called the state Environmental Protection Division, which took a report about the incident. An EPD official later contacted Nouraee and said the city would have to be involved in investigating the incident. (One environmentalist CL contacted said that, based on the photos, it looked like "sheetrock mud" washed from tools and buckets.)

"I'm very angry," Nouraee said. "This has been going on forever."

Neighborhood residents for years have tried to combat possible pollution and dumping in the creek. Two years ago the creek turned neon green. In 2003, the state EPD and Environmental Protection Agency fined an auto-recycling facility $45,000 after it dumped about 200 gallons of oil into a storm-water drain which empties into the creek. The facility later signed a consent decree that required the business to obtain a general storm-water permit, prepare a pollution-prevention plan and immediately cease the dumping. (Two years later it was fined an additional $25,000 for not fulfilling all the consent decree's requirements.)

City and state EPD officials did not immediately respond to our request for comment over the weekend. We'll update when we hear word.

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