Although not widely publicized, users of the Chattooga River have been cautioned by the U. S. Forest Service that under certain conditions, contact with water below the Stekoa/ Chattooga confluence may carry the risk of bacterial infections. Persistent lack of corrective actions by federal, state and local authorities has been responsible for the continued deterioration of the Stekoa Creek, which is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) as a polluted waterway under section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act. For the past several years, the Chattooga Conservancy has made the neglected issue of improving water quality in Stekoa Creek one of our top priorities. Currently, our Stekoa Creek Restoration Campaign consists of several interrelated projects, which are:
Stekoa Creek is a major, polluted tributary of the Chattooga River. Stekoa Creek is one of the largest tributaries to the Chattooga, and has been the single greatest threat to the Chattooga’s water quality for over 40 years, due primarily to raw sewage leaking from the City of Clayton’s (GA) old sewage collection system, storm drains overflowing, sediment-laden runoff, poor agricultural practices, failing septic systems, and dumping from apathetic individuals.