Restore the South River The projects and work of SRWA is intended to restore and protect the South River for wildlife to thrive and people to enjoy.
Restoration is the return of a degraded ecosystem to a close approximation of its remaining natural potential (U.S. EPA).
Urban areas are where most people live and where waterways like the South River are most threatened. Restoration of the South River depends on actively engaging individuals and communities through projects that raise awareness, educate, and connect people to the river.
Browse this website to learn more about SRWA's river restoration projects and how you can help.
After More Than Two Decades South River Headwaters Gets Help Approximately one and a half miles north of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in the southern headwaters of the South River is the "Tift Site" a Class 1 hazardous waste site. Read Press Release Here.
Manage State Waters as a Resource — Improve Water Quality in Georgia’s Streams, Creeks, and Rivers
A visit to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch web page provides an opportunity to view the agency's statement concerning how the state's water resources are managed. This statement omits mention of people, fishes and aquatic life, wildlife, recreation, and even water quality. Water quality in the South River and streams around the state can be greatly improved but this goal must be on par with the interests of municipalities, businesses, and agriculture. The water we have now is all the water we will ever have which means it must serve multiple purposes. We do not have the luxury of separate rivers for recreation and fish and wildlife and others for discharging wastewater and water withdrawal. Our water resources must be shared, with everyone doing their share to improve water quality. Read More Here.
“Hot Spots” for Sanitary Sewage Spills In DeKalb County, two-thirds of sanitary sewage spills are caused by fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Multi-family complexes are a main source of recurring spills. Click here to view map of "Hot Spots" for sanitary sewage spills. DeKalb County needs a new FOG ordinance that specifically addresses the impact of multi-family complexes. Apartment owners must do their fair share to eliminate sanitary sewage spills. Educating residents alone has not and will not solve the problem. Owners must be required to do more to keep FOG out of public sewer pipes. Contact your commissioners and urge them to pass new FOG legislation that requires apartment owners to become part of the FOG solution. Click here for contact information.
SRWA Asks EPA to Investigate DeKalb Consent Decree Violations
On Monday, February 19, 2018, SRWA sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking for an investigation into violations of DeKalb County's federal consent decree. Click here to read letter.
South River Water Trail Achieving the water trail designation for the South River will help to secure the river's future. The process of planning, building, and maintaining the South River Water Trail (SRWT) will require a community-wide effort. The water trail will provide access to the river, connect communities up and down the river to each other, unlock the river's economic potential, and accentuate the river's status as a valuable natural amenity
The SRWT is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and once completed will become a recreational and educational destination. With access to canoe/kayak launches, greenspaces, parks, and other public amenities, the SRWT will connect outdoor enthusiasts to the river's wildlife, ecology, history, and geology as well as downstream neighbors. Read more about the SRWT.
Resolutions of Support for the South River Water Trail:
Rivercane - Nature's Amazing Green Infrastructure A major project of SRWA is the reintroduction of rivercane to the South River corridor and tributaries. This home-grown vegetation is one of nature's most effective green infrastructures but it is severely threatened by the loss of habitat and invasive Chinese privet. The only bamboo that is native to the U.S. and southeast, rivercane can dramatically improve water quality, slow stormwater runoff, and provide critical habitat for wildlife. Read more about rivercane.
Sanitary sewage pool on bank of Snapfinger Creek after spill (photo by Jackie Echols)
New FOG Ordinance Needs DeKalb BOC Action
New FOG Ordinance Needs Immediate DeKalb BOC Action Sanitary sewage spills are an environmental and public health disaster in DeKalb County and getting worse. FOG (fats, oils, and grease) is the main cause of these spills and multi-family apartment complexes are the main culprits. Sewage spills pollute streams and creeks that flow through neighborhood parks and greenspaces throughout the county are at an all time high. DeKalb County needs a new FOG ordinance that holds apartment owners responsible for fixing their FOG problem before it becomes our pollution problem. Contact your BOC members and urge them to make passage of a new FOG ordinance an immediate priority. Click here to read more.
Combating sanitary sewer spills in DeKalb County that pollute streams and rivers and threaten public health needs the help of everyone. Here is how you can pitch in. As you go about your daily routine, keep a sensitive nose and watchful eye out for leaky sewer pipes and manholes, and discharges from apartment complexes and restaurants. If you see something or smell something, say something. Below is contact information for reporting sanitary sewer spills on private or public property:
DeKalb County Watershed Management
(public or private property)
A water trail, also sometimes referred to as a blueway, is a river, lake, or coastline that provides recreational, education and/or scenic experiences. The ultimate goal of achieving water trail designation for South River is to connect more people to the river in their backyards, and to inspire stewardship and protection of the river.
The DeKalb County consent decree requires that the county eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. For this reason, the decree is south DeKalb's best chance for a cleaner South River, but only if it outlines a specific plan for how DeKalb County will reduce sewage pollution from fats, oils, and grease. Currently, such a plan does not exist. More consent decree here.
Fats, Oils, & Grease
The greatest threat to water quality in DeKalb County comes from sanitary sewage overflows caused by fats, oils, and grease blockages. These blockages are responsible for millions of gallons of sewage pollution in South River. Correct disposal of fats, oils, and grease is essential to addressing this crisis. Learn more here.