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Officials discover source of sewage spill that has shut down Chattahoochee River for 11 miles

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Crews are cleaning up after finding the source of a spill that is sending sewage into the Chattahoochee River and are hoping the river will reopen in time for the Fourth of July.

Channel 2 Action News first told you about the spill on Friday after it was discovered in the area of Morgan Falls and Bull Sluice Lake underneath the river bed.

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We now know the spill is coming from Fulton County’s Big Creek Water Reclamation Plant and it’s running downstream toward Atlanta. That has closed down the river for an 11-mile stretch from Morgan Falls down to Peachtree Creek in Buckhead.

The sewage spill has made the water contaminated with dangerous levels of E. Coli.

“I thought there was something wrong,” Chattahoochee riverkeeper Jason Ulseth told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco for WSB Tonight at 11 p.m.

“Sewage from homes and businesses are going into the plant... Normally, it gets treated and safely put into the river, but there’s been a malfunction at the plant.”

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Ulseth said the untreated sewage is still pouring into the water, but Fulton County installed a disinfection system to help kill some bacteria.

“So hopefully the discharge from this point on is going to be disinfected so we will see a decrease in bacteria coming out of the plant,” he said.

On top of that, the Army Corps of Engineers will release more water than usual from the Buford Dam on Sunday night to dilute the sewage and push it downstream.

“And then we will be sampling in the morning to see how well that worked,” Ulseth said.

He told Francisco there is hope that the Fourth of July water plans aren’t ruined yet for the visitors.

“I know this is a popular spot for people to come out and raft with their kayaks,” visitor Will Taylor said.

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