"The record rains of the past few days flooded out sewage treatment plants in Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties, dumping millions of gallons of untreated sewage into local waterways.
So, water already polluted by oil and gasoline, trash, pesticides and other ground contaminants will also be carrying debris and bacteria from human waste.
The greatest damage occurred at Atlanta’s R.M. Clayton plant — the largest in the southeastern U.S. — which was swamped by at least four feet of water Tuesday when the Chattahoochee River surged more than 12 feet beyond flood level.
City officials said they’d seek federal help to repair potentially “tens of millions of dollars” in damages. They could not even estimate when the plant, which can treat as much as 240 million gallons of sewage a day, would be fixed."
D.L. Bennett reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution September 22, 2009.