Georgia Environmental Agency continuing investigation into Rocky Creek contamination


(WJBF) – According to Kevin Chambers, joint spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Department of Natural Resources, information gathered from the Rocky Creek following a water contamination investigation indicates the presence of what is likely a mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline. 

Still, Chambers says, delays due to the Thanksgiving holidays mean they do not yet have complete confirmation on the identity of the unknown substance found in the waters of Rocky Creek in mid-November.

Currently, soil samples excavated from the area near the Rocky Creek contamination are undergoing confirmation sample analysis to ensure the identity of the contaminant that caused alarm, confusion, and some physical problems for some residence in the area near North Leg Road and Commerce Drive.

The strong petroleum-like smell coming from the site caused Augusta Fire Department to tell residents to stay indoor Wednesday, November 17th.  The alerts continued into Thursday, with Augusta Fire advising that those who suddenly smelled gasoline-like fumes were told to go in-doors immediately.

Absorbent booms were set up in various locations along Rocky Creek to capture the substance causing the disturbance and slow its spread downstream. Georgia EPD today told Augusta government that the boom could finally be removed two weeks after first being placed in the creek.

Georgia EPD tells WJBF that inspectors visually surveyed Rocky Creek Tuesday, November 30th, and didn’t see any sheen on the creek water surface, nor notice any odor.

Additionally, there was no evidence of any distressed or dead fish.

Georgia EPD tells WJBF their department continues to investigate the spill and has narrowed down the potential responsible party.

Work also continues in the investigation to determine how much of the substance came in contact with the creek bed and the water below.

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