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Major sewage spill blamed on line block

POSTED: March 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Recent road work on Dixon Drive may have contributed to a major sewage spill Wednesday afternoon.

A wastewater overflow estimated at about 24,000 gallons was discovered at about 4 p.m. near the corner of Dixon Drive Circle and Wessell Drive.

Horace Gee, environmental services administrator for Gainesville Public Utilities, said some of the wastewater got into a tributary of Dixon Creek, which flows into Lake Lanier.

"We found a blockage in a line, full of debris that had been washed in by the recent storm — rocks, silt, hay, trash," he said.

Gee said construction in the area could have accelerated the already intense storm water runoff from weekend rains.

"Dixon Drive was recently paved, so the manholes were all covered with asphalt," he said. "That created more runoff than we would typically have."

Any sewage spill larger than 10,000 gallons is considered major, so Gainesville had to report the incident to Hall County Environmental Health and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Advisory signs have been posted in the spill area, and the utility is required to monitor the site for pollution for seven days.



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