DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials are on the scene of a chemical spill this morning (March 23) at Flat Creek behind Robinson Elementary School.
According to a city of Dawsonville press release, the spill of ferric chloride took place Tuesday, March 20, when a 55-gallon drum ruptured at the Gold Creek Food facility. City Manager Bob Bolz said, “We were never notified.”
Bolz said the city discovered the spill two days later when city Utility Department personnel noticed discolored water in Flat Creek. On closer examination, they noticed dead fish and other aquatic life.
City officials immediately contacted Environmental Management Services, the city’s contracted company for environmental testing services. A PH test was applied, which showed the water to be very acidic. The company then notified DNR, which deployed both a fishery biologist of the Wildlife Resources Division and a representative of the Environmental Protection Division Hazardous Response Team.
The incident is under investigation by DNR.
According to the city’s press release, “Environmental Management Services has assured the city that there is no risk to drinking water.”
Dawson County School Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs said it is safe for students to attend Robinson Elementary School today, but they would remain indoors through recess to ensure no one gets into the creek, which flows behind the school.
City personnel notified all appropriate county departments of the spill.
The city’s press release also stated, “Gold Creek Foods, at the direction of EPD Hazardous Response Team personnel, began clean-up efforts utilizing Hulsey Environmental Services Thursday evening.”
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