Lake Lanier fills with trash following heavy rains - CBS46 News

Lake Lanier fills with trash following heavy rains

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Lake Lanier is a beautiful place to boat, visit and fish. But one part, near Flat Creek, is a garbage dump.

"It is frustrating, it is sad, it makes you real upset a lot of times," Jerry Guhl said. 

Guhl has lived on the lake for more than a decade near Flat Creek, at one time it was a place he liked to go kayaking, now it's an area he avoids.

"We don't come up here anymore, it's that nasty and disturbing to us," Guhl said. "If I had my friends coming over, I would put you on the boat and get you the heck out of here, I am not going to hang out on the dock and swim amongst the trash. We will not swim in the cove, we think something really bad is going on in this water."

Last year, Guhl complained to CBS Atlanta News about the problem. After our story aired, he said no one contacted him to try and fix the problem.

"The only people I heard from wanted to sell things to me or government officials to fix the problem," Guhl said.

The problem is that trash, debris and industrial waste from a nearby poultry plant make it into the water source when the area gets large amounts of rain.

Guhl said keeping the trash out of the lake is preventable in two ways, if people didn't litter, and if there were systems in place to keep the debris from washing into the waterway during heavy rains.

CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska spoke to the executive director of the Lake Lanier Association.

"There are several different efforts underway related to Flat Creek. There is an effort that is focused on the headwaters of Flat Creek," Joanna Cloud said. "My understanding is that other portions of the restoration project are focused on some of the other runoff areas such as the Atlanta Highway/Flat Creek Bridge area."

"There are restoration projects under design in the head waters of Flat Creek stretching from Cargill at EE Butler and going to Georgia Avenue. This project will be constructed in 2 phases with the first phase of construction starting in March 2014," Horace Gee Jr., with the city of Gainesville, said in an email. 

Guhl said the problem has been going on for so long he'll wait and see what happens.

We need to raise the awareness on this and try to get something done," Guhl said. "If more and more people saw this, and we got 50 people out on this boat, we could start getting some action."

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