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Gravel blocks manhole, causing 35,000-gallon sewer spill
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Some 35,000 gallons of sewer spilled earlier this week into Balus Creek on Old Oakwood Road, Gainesville officials said Wednesday.

The sewer had poured from a nearby manhole, where gravel from a construction site had blocked normal flows, a city press release states.

The gravel was removed by 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, and staff has placed lime on the ground around the manhole to lessen the odor, officials said.

The problem was discovered after a Department of Water Resources Environmental Compliance worker was performing a routine weekly creek inspection Monday.

The employee collected a water sample from Balus Creek for analysis by lab staff.

“After the 24-hour processing time, one of the tests performed on the sample indicated a high fecal level,” the press release states.

When staff returned to further investigate the area Wednesday, they found a sewer manhole overflowing upstream of the sampling site.

Signs required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division have been posted in the area, warning the public not to enter the water near the site for seven days.

In addition to the EPD, the city also has contacted Hall County Environmental Health and the Army Corps of Engineers.