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Neighbors fed up after thousands of gallons of sewage dumped into Lake Oconee


GREENE COUNTY, Ga. — Neighbors in Greensboro are fed up with Piedmont Water.

Just weeks after the company says a sewage leak dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into nearby Lake Oconee.

“I was disappointed, but not surprised,” neighbor Ric Crane said.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 271,000 gallons of sewage seeped into Lake Oconee in Greensboro-Greene County.

Spill reports indicate it started on Feb. 23 and went unnoticed for four days.

Mike Hartman said he called Piedmont Water right up.

He lives not far from the spill site in the Reynolds Lake Oconee subdivision.

“I said, Have you tested it? They said yes, we tested it and one day it tested positive for fecal matter,” Hartman explained.

Carter spoke to Piedmont Water COO Brent Hurst who said their power system failed at one of their lift stations, which in turn caused their alarm system to fail.

“Typically that would give an alarm or text message, or a phone call to the technicians. Something happened within the communication platform,” Hurst said.

He said they worked for five days straight. Pouring lime on the affected areas and posting warning signs until the water was safe again.

“It tends to be habitual with them, spilling but not telling,” Crane said.

Crane says it’s unacceptable, especially with their water rates at a premium.

“It’s easy to pay $500 to $600 a month. They basically tell you there’s nothing you can do about it,” Crane said.

Piedmont Water says the drinking water is safe in Greensboro because it goes through a treatment process.

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