A chemical spill at a Dawsonville chicken processing plant that killed over 8,000 fish in March of this year has been named one of the 12 worst offenses to Georgia’s waters by the Georgia Water Coalition.
A 29-page report released by the coalition on Tuesday classifies the incident one of a “Dirty Dozen” areas in Georgia where the health of Georgia’s water is threatened either through policies or incidents.
On March 20, a forklift operator at Gold Creek Foods in Dawsonville accidentally punctured a 55-gallon drum of ferric chloride, a chemical commonly used to treat water at the plant. Between 40 and 45 gallons flowed downhill into a retention pond and into Flat Creek, which is a tributary to Shoal Creek and the Etowah River.
The spill was not reported until two days later when city of Dawsonville employees discovered that the water had turned bright orange from the acid and that there were hundreds of dead fish and other wildlife.