Why do so many creeks in Metro Atlanta have sewer entrances next to creeks? Fish unsafe to eat?

In Cobb at least, there are lots of creeks, but they most all have sewage manholes, taller ones, that run alongside the creek. I know it isn't dumping into the creek unless there is an overflow, and then the water department is supposed to put enzymes in there, but being so close to that pipe, would you eat those fish? Maybe one or two like bream. I figure they put them alongside creeks because those areas are already unbuildable, and they follow them to different treatment plants. I don't know though.
Sanitary sewer runs along side many creeks as it runs off gravity. Eating fish, ooh I would be real careful there. Not because the sewer is leaking but other pollutants present in the creeks like pesticides.


Senior Member
Because s(tuff) flows down hill.
I thought it was like that everywhere.
You can't follow the roads with it because the roads go up-and-down hills and over ridges.
The only time it should mingle with the fresh water is when the Creek flows so high that it overflows into the manhole. Then, it has to completely fill the sewer so it runs out of the manhole somewhere else. Most places where this is a probability have raised manhole covers above ground level considerably. Those along the chattahoochie are 6' high or more above ground and that is usually 6' high or more above the level of the river.
Most fishes biological systems can deal with a little pollution instead of putting it into the meat that is eaten. In other words, the meat doesn't have sewage in it.
Yes I agree with you , creeks don't flow uphill .


...just joking, seriously.



Senior Member
Lake Lanier has some pretty dirty water. The consumption guide list most fish from Lanier as being safe as long as they are under 12 inches. Most species over 12 inches in Lanier have restrictions on how much to eat safely. I know a lot of campers, boaters play in the water there but if they knew how much human and animal fecal particles, pesticides, dead animals and who knows what else is in the water, there would be a lot less diving into it.
I used to manage the e-coli testing program at Lake Lanier. Took thousands of samples over the years. They can paint that pig up however they want but it is still nasty most of the time. Out in the middle not so much.


Senior Member
I used to manage the e-coli testing program at Lake Lanier. Took thousands of samples over the years. They can paint that pig up however they want but it is still nasty most of the time. Out in the middle not so much.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but high e-coli levels are a concern if you're swimming, not eating fish. The bigger concern are the levels of mercury, PCBs, dioxins, etc.
There's a lot more than poop in "sanitary sewers" think about everything that goes down the drains. Household chemicals, toilet cleaner, chlorine, ammonia, pharmaceutacals that cant be removed even by modern treatment methods etc. etc. as if not bad enough by themselves combining to make all kinds of hazardous and poisonous compounds. Some that would make chemical weapons engineers cringe. The magic drain makes it all "disappear". Yep a little poo is probably the least of our worries.

When it comes to overflows they are quite common especially during rainy periods due to infiltration of water that seeps into the system through low manholes in roadways, submerged appurtances cracks in pipes and structures or is illegally diverted into it. This causes higher head pressures leading to overflows at low points as well as exfiltration from any and all downstream defects many of which are nearly undetectable with standard inspection procedures.(anything short of a pressurized leakdown test) Many of these appear during wet weather and then subside never being detected or reported.

Ps much of the stormwater runoff aint a whole lot better. If its dumped on the ground, its found in the runoff. Ever thought about what happens to the detergent in gasoline and the crud it removes from engines? Look at the foam running off the edge of a well travelled road next time it rains. Or go look in a detention pond off the edge of a commercial parking lot. Yep all that stuff is in the runoff from untreated urine to industrial chemicals dumpster juice containing God knows what etc. etc.
Last edited:


🥃 Cap`n Jack 🥃
I'm gonna say the same thing I say every time this comes up (at least twice a year). IF you want to eat the fish.. eat the fish, if you don't want to eat the fish (what are you doing fish'n here?), go find you some pristine spring that's never been touched by the air you just breathed out and have yourself a ball while wearing your M.O.P.s gear. I don't care whether or how you live or die ... thats your choice. This topic has been run in the ground so many times it's dust... let it be.


🥃 Cap`n Jack 🥃
Cooking kills the normal bad stuff? Not mercury I know.
All of the mercury (and most other toxins) are only in the liver of the fish. When they test fish they grind up a bunch of them in one batch (including all of the livers) and take a "test" sample from that bucket of mush then tell you not to eat the fish because of the mercury in them... don't eat the liver.. you'll be fine.

Pig Predator

Useles Billy’s Fishel Hog Killer ?
I fish a spot that has a 10 inch direct line from the treatment plant 50 yards away. One day I seen a guy come down to the water and shoot it with a thermometer. I asked him what was up and they can only release so much not to raise the stream temperature above a certain degree. I catch the most colorful fish out of that hole.