South River | Photo by Alan Cressler
South River | Photo by Alan Cressler

#4: South River, GA

Threat: Pollution

DeKalb County’s failure to fix sewage leaks has caused waste to repeatedly spill into waterways.

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Dekalb County sewage spill | Photo by Melanie Court

Dekalb County sewage spill | Photo by Melanie Court

Originating from creeks and streams in Atlanta, the South River has been plagued by sewage pollution for decades. This pollution has choked the river and impacted the health and quality of life in nearby communities, perpetuating longstanding environmental injustice. DeKalb County missed the 2020 deadline set by the Environmental Protection Agency to fix the sewer system. Now, the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency must examine the circumstances surrounding this failure and the years of lax regulatory enforcement. It is critical for the health of South River communities and the river that they take immediate action to ensure that the river and all impacted communities are afforded all clean water protections required by law.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • South River Watershed Alliance
  • Sierra Club Georgia Chapter
  • Altamaha Riverkeeper
  • GA Conservation Voters
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