While officials await the results of water quality tests regarding the Ogeechee River, the question of why fish are dying downriver from a local textiles plant — but not upriver — remains unanswered.
When about 38,000 fish died in the Ogeechee River in May 2011, the cause was ruled to be columnaris, a bacterial disease caused by environmental stress. The dozen fish found dead this Memorial Day weekend died of the same bacterial infection, according to Environmental Protection Division officials.
EPD officials said possible reasons for the fish kills were lower water levels and higher temperatures. However, although water levels and temperatures would be the same both upriver and downriver from King America Finishing, which discharges wastewater into the river near Dover, no dead fish have been found upstream of the textiles plant discharge pipe.
The questions as to what factors maybe different upriver and downstream of the plant remain unanswered.
EPD spokesman Kevin Chambers said Tuesday: “Test results from water samples are not available, but I'm expecting them this week. Once they are in, we can better respond to … questions (about the fish kills).”
Department of Natural Resources Region Supervisor Tim Barrett said Tuesday no more dead fish have been found after about a dozen were discovered south of the King America discharge pipe at the U.S. 301 (Dover) and Ga. 24 (Oliver) landings.
Read more in the June 9 edition of the News.