Rivers Alive heading to Tussahaw Creek for 2015 endeavor

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Additional volunteers are needed for a project geared toward promoting clean drinking water in Henry County.

Rivers Alive Volunteers at a past clean-up in Henry County. Special photo

Update: The Henry County Water Authority and Henry County Stormwater Management have decided to postpone due to inclement weather. With the amount of rain we've had, and more expected Saturday, the water levels are running high in the nearby rivers, streams and reservoir where the cleanup was to be held. According to Tara Brown at HCWA, organizers hope to reschedule, but it will likely be after the first of the year.

The Henry County Water Authority is partnering with the county’s Stormwater Management Department to host the 2015 Henry County Rivers Alive clean-up effort. The project is set for Nov. 7, beginning at 10 a.m.

Rivers Alive is a statewide waterway cleanup program organized under the Georgia Environmental Protection Division that encompasses numerous events throughout the state. The purpose of the event is protect natural water resources, including the source waters of the Tussahaw Reservoir, for drinking water production at the Tussahaw Water Treatment Facility and to educate the public on how everyday activities affect water quality.

Nearly 50 people have signed up to participate in this year’s Rivers Alive event, says Tara Brown, environmental compliance coordinator for the Henry County Water Authority.

“It’s a feel-good kind of event where people get to feel like they’re making a difference in the community,” says Brown. “People get to see that they’ve made a difference in a short amount of time.”

Locally, the effort will focus on Tussahaw Creek near Leguin Mill Road in Locust Grove. The creek, says Brown, feeds into one of the drinking-water reservoirs for the county.

“This is a place that’s under a bridge,” she says. “People drive by and throw out their beer cans and that kind of thing. It’s not that it’s in horrible shape, but it’s a priority for the water authority.”

The water authority has participated in Rivers Alive for several years with cleanup efforts throughout the county. Brown gratefully reports that selecting a location for the project locally is not always easy.

“We actually have a hard time finding places dirty enough to clean up in Henry County,” she says.

Brown adds that the water authority will conduct a similar cleanup effort in the spring, focusing on the South River area. For more information, visit www.riversalive.com.