ATLANTA - The record rainfall has certainly helped bring area lakes back to full pool and bring us out of the drought. But there is one major downside when it comes to Atlanta’s major river.
“For right now, don’t touch the water,” says Sally Bethea with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Organization.
Bacteria levels, especially E. coli are soaring after metro Atlanta picked up more than four inches of rain over the weekend.
The river had 76 colonies of bacteria per 100 milliliters of water before the rains came Thursday night. As of early this morning, that number has soared to 1,145 at Medlock Bridge. The EPA says any mark above 235 is unhealthy.
“Because you've got manholes overflowing, you’ve got cracked sewer lines, septic systems,” Bethea told Channel 2 Action News. “This is just what happens when rain saturates the ground, rolls off the surface and into our river.”
So everybody is warned to stay away from the river, but especially young children, those with immune deficiencies or anyone who has a cut in their skin.
But Bethea says this warning won’t last forever.
“With some sunshine and the waters abating, we should be back in a good place.”
WSB meteorologist Kirk Mellish there will only be a stray thunderstorm or shower for the rest of the work week, with temperatures slowly heading into the low 80s by Thursday and Friday.
But there is a 40 percent chance of rain Friday and Saturday.