Chattahoochee River BacteriAlert: River Facts
These ChattFacts were compiled by the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
- In 1978, Congress created the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area consisting of 48 miles of the River (Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek) and authorized the National Park to purchase 10,000 acres of land in units along the River. To date, over 5,000 acres have been purchased. Picture of picnicers on a rock in the Chattahoochee River.
- "Chattahoochee" is a Creek Indian word which means "river of painted rocks".
- The Chattahoochee River begins in the north Georgia mountains at a spring on Coon Den Ridge in southeastern Union County.
- The headwaters of the Chattahoochee River above Atlanta comprise the smallest watershed, or drainage area, which provides a major portion of water supply for any metropolitan area in the country.
- The Chattahoochee River supplies 70% of metro Atlanta's drinking water, which is more than 300 million gallons per day. It is also used for industrial supply, irrigation, power generation, navigation and recreation and is considered to be the most heavily-used water resource in Georgia.
- Metro Atlanta's sewage treatment plants release more than 250 million gallons of treated wastewater each day into the Chattahoochee River.
- In the upper Chattahoochee River basin (Helen to West Point Dam), 159 municipalities and industries are permitted to discharge specific levels of pollutants into the River.
- Basin hydrology and water quality are influenced by 14 mainstem reservoirs.
- In 1957, the Corps of Engineers completed Buford Dam, 50 miles above Atlanta, and created Lake Lanier, the most visited federal lake in the United States. Lake Lanier contains 38,000 acres and 540 miles of shoreline.
- The CRNRA attracts approximately 3.5 million visitors each year .
- The Chattahoochee River is the southernmost habitat in the United States for trout. The state of Georgia stocks rainbow, brook, and brown trout in the River.
- The Chattahoochee River flows southwesterly 436 miles to the Florida border, defining the state boundaries between Georgia and Alabama near West Point Lake.
- The Chattahoochee River drains 8,770 square miles.