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Water authority helps keep Georgia rivers alive
by Staff
November 26, 2013 02:39 PM | 1703 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / 
Henry County Water Authority employees, from left, Angie Cash and Gary May collect trash during the 2013 Rivers Alive river cleanup organized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.
Special Photo / Henry County Water Authority employees, from left, Angie Cash and Gary May collect trash during the 2013 Rivers Alive river cleanup organized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.
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Henry County Water Authority employees took part in the recent 2013 Rivers Alive annual cleanup organized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.

The cleanup’s mission is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of all 70,150 miles of waterways in the state, including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches and wetlands.

“We hope to host an Earth Day event locally in the spring, which may incorporate another river cleanup as well,” Tara Brown, authority environmental compliance coordinator, said in a statement. “We want to continue to be a part of Rivers Alive, so we can educate our employees and customers on the positive impact they can have on water quality by keeping our reservoirs, rivers and streams clean.”

The cleanup, a few miles from the association’s Marietta headquarters, targeted nearly a mile of stream bank along Rottenwood Creek near Aviation Park.

The area was littered with trash and debris like shopping carts, automobile tires and other solid waste, some requiring a Bobcat compact track loader to remove.

By the end of the day, volunteers removed an entire dump truck load of pollutants from the creek.

The authority’s employees are known for their involvement in community events and team-building exercises.

“We participate in quarterly team-building events such as Rivers Alive, but the river cleanup has the added benefit of raising public awareness of water quality issues while getting people involved in the protection of our local waterways,” Tony Carnell, division manager of engineering, said in a statement. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division’s Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Program and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Keep Georgia Beautiful Program are cleanup sponsors.

By mid-November, the 2013 cleanup included 262 locations like Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge at the entrance to Alexander Lake, and the Lake Dow community of McDonough, both part of the Upper Ocmulgee River watershed.

According to the cleanup’s website, it was the brainchild of DNR board member Curtis Farrar and the department’s wildlife division staged the first event in 1992.

In 1999, various cleanup organizations throughout the state unified to form Rivers Alive.

Information: www.riversalive.org or tara.brown@hcwsa.com.

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