Tue., October 18, 2011 4:22pm (EDT)

New Fish Kill In East Georgia
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
Scores of fished turned up dead on Brier Creek.  The exact number of dead fish wasn't known.  But the Savannah Riverkeerp said that she saw between 70 and 100 in one area.  (photo Savannah Riverkeeper)
Scores of fished turned up dead on Brier Creek. The exact number of dead fish wasn't known. But the Savannah Riverkeerp said that she saw between 70 and 100 in one area. (photo Savannah Riverkeeper)
An east Georgia city has shut off one of its water sources after scores of fish died in a local creek this weekend.

State environmental officials are investigating the fish kill in a Burke County tributary of the Savannah River.

The fish died on a four mile stretch of Brier Creek near Waynesboro.

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonia Bonitatibus says, the fish kill appeared along with an unsettling change in the creek's color.

"The water, which is normally a black-water system -- dark tannins, very tea-color -- is completely clear," Bonitatibus says. "And that suggests that some kind of settling agent might have been introduced."

Bonitatubus says, four kaolin mines are allowed to discharge waste into the creek.

State Environmental Protection Division officials are investigating but didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

As a precaution, Waynesboro city officials have turned off their surface water supply from the creek.

They're only are using wells for drinking water until further notice.

Earlier this year, a fish kill on the Ogeechee River led to a million-dollar settlement with a textile mill.