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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 12:22pm

New Fish Kill In East Georgia

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.