One of six water samples taken in the Oconee River south of Athens on Monday showed evidence of elevated chemical contamination following a large chemical fire last week, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division reported late Wednesday.
Although a contractor for the responsible company, J&J Chemical Co., took samples last week, the EPD also conducted testing Monday.
Those tests showed that there was para-dichlorobenzene in the North Oconee at its confluence with Trail Creek, whose east fork was closest to the chemical plant.
Results of further tests for formaldehyde contamination are expected back early next week, according to the EPD.The river became contaminated after a July 28 chemical fire sent blue dye, perfume oils and other chemicals into Trail Creek. EPD officials say aquatic life in the river appears unaffected, and the odor and color are beginning to fade.
State officials have said it is unlikely the contamination will affect Lake Oconee or the Oconee River downstream of the lake.