Major sewage spill at Lake Tobesofkee | News
A quarter-million gallon sewage spill at Lake Tobesofkee was contained Friday, according to Mark Wyzalek, with the Macon Water Authority.
He says crews have been cleaning up what they're calling a "major sewage spill" at the lake.
That's after an electrical circuit board failed at a lift station that connects to the pumps.
On top of that, heavy rains added to the sewage, leaking 250,000 gallons into the lake.
That's about 40 percent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Wyzalek says the effects of a 250,000 gallon spill in a 20-billion gallon lake are "minimal."
"Our results indicate there are no water quality violations," he said.
He says water quality standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
One neighbor says she's still worried, especially because she wasn't notified about the spill.
"Had this been the summer, we'd be out on the lake this whole time. It's winter time, so we're not in the lake, but i have a 2-year-old. I have a compromised immune system. So swimming in the lake with raw sewage without being notified, I think it's irresponsible," Marnie Crowley said.
According to Wyzalek, the Water Authority posted a sign by the sewage leak notifying neighbors, as required by state law.
But for neighbors like Crowley who live by the lake, a single sign isn't enough.
"I think it's irresponsible for them not to let us know and then say, 'Well, it's not dangerous,'" Crowley said.
Even though Wyzalek says this leak isn't cause for concern, Brian Rood, a Mercer professor of chemistry, earth and environmental science, disagrees.
Rood says large-scale sewage spills like this one creates the possibility of bacterial/viral infections through physical touch and breathing hazards for those who live very close to the lake.
He also said the impact of oils and grease from waste water causing problems for vegetation, and depleted oxygen in water could kill fish/other wildlife.