‘Red paint’ on Augusta roadways is iron


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Cleanup is underway after a spill on several busy Augusta roads. You may have noticed roads in the Deans Bridge Road area have a reddish tint.

A representative from Orion Waste Solutions in town says the red or rust-looking substance is not harmful. However, the sights did have some people on alert.

“I got on Deans Bridge Road near the Walmart and started seeing some red stuff on the road and kept following it. And it got really bad the further away we got from the Walmart closer to the landfill and here at the new fire station it got really bad,” said Savannah Riverkeeper and Program Coordinator for Veterans For Clean Water Truck Carlson.

Several roads in Augusta have a new paint job. But the substance on these roads near Deans Bridge is not paint.

The Orion rep., who preferred not to be identified, explained, “It’s a naturally occurring material that was mined, and that material was ground up into powder form. It’s like ground-up iron is basically what it is.”

The ground iron (iron oxide) is used to dye concrete, according to the rep. The company was notified around 5:00 p.m., Friday about the spill while a truck was hauling the material to the landfill.

“The material had leaked out of the dumpster where the liner had failed and the material began to come out of the dumpster, the powder. It’s not something that will stick to the car,” said the rep.

But the iron leak is leaving some people concerned.

Carlson said, “We’ve got Bulter Creek right down the road here. All the stormwater drains drain right into Butler Creek and Butler Creek has had a hard week already with some spills so we didn’t want this to complicate that.”

“We are working with a couple of companies here in town that will try and put out crews tonight to start vacuuming up this powder,” said the rep.

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