See Something Say Something: Erosion & Sedimentation

Keeping Lake Lanier clean and safe is one of our most important tasks.

Muddy patch at Lake Lanier

Sediment Entering Lake Lanier Creates Numerous Water Quality Issues

As a lake community we can curb this practice

Sediment and dirt introduces pollution such as phosphorous into Lake Lanier, negatively impacts fish and other aquatic life and reduces storage capacity by filling in Lake Lanier.

Erosion and Sedimentation typically, occurs during or shortly after a rainstorm, when rain water picks up dirt as it flows downhill toward the lake or a tributary to the lake. During rain events, creeks can be seen running brown or red into Lanier and entire coves are affected by the sediment. Sedimentation into lakes is a natural process, however preventable human impacts drastically increase the rate at which it is entering Lake Lanier.

In an effort to stop this practice, we need your help.  It is as simple as if you see something, say something.


Erosion into Lake Lanier
Watch for any signs of erosion or sedimentation in your area.

Those that use and live on the lake know what a favorite area typically looks like after a rainstorm. Any variation to this normal coloration should be noted and reported.

The majority of erosion comes from construction sites, where land has been cleared of vegetation without adequate erosion controls such as silt fences or other erosion control methods. Sites located anywhere in the Lake Lanier watershed can cause runoff into creeks and streams that flow into the lake.

The community monitoring for and reporting E&S events is the key successfully keeping a Clean Lake. Only by watching for runoff events, and ensuring that all important information is provided to those who are responsible for enforcing E&S laws and regulations can we be successful in protecting Lake Lanier from the debilitating effects of sedimentation.

What we can all do to stop this:

See Something Say Something
Take Pictures

If you see something that looks like erosion or sedimentation, document it.

Watch for discolored areas during and after a rainstorm, because that’s when the evidence is most readily apparent and also when the most damage is done. When you see runoff or in the lake, take photos. In addition to taking photos and videos, find out the street address of the source if there is one, the name of the construction project (such as on a sign announcing, “Coming Soon: Red Clay Subdivision!”), and stick a pin in a Google map showing the specific location of the runoff that is escaping toward the lake.

Report it.

Make sure to report it to the jurisdiction where the construction site is located and report the problem to us as well. Contact information for reporting is below.  It is important to report issues when you see them. All complaints are logged into the sites record, complaints build the case that there are ongoing issues. It is critically important to identify and document the source of the runoff, because that is the only way to know who is responsible for it.

We ask that you report it both the the jurisdiction, information below, as well as to us. Multiple community members reporting issues makes a stronger case that there are issues. LLA will follow up with the jurisdiction once the complaint is received and determine what follow up actions have been completed. When you have the photos, report the issue to LLA

Investigate further if needed.

Your commitment to conscientiously monitor and report E&S events is the key to our success in keeping a Clean Lake. Only through the concerted efforts of many watching for runoff events, and ensuring that all important information is provided to those who are responsible for enforcing E&S laws and regulations can we be successful in protecting Lake Lanier from the negative effects of sedimentation.

Volunteer to be an LLA See Something Say Something area point person.

When we hear about an issue, area point people can be our first line of communication for any of our see something say something issues. If there is an area that you live on or frequent and we know a development is coming to that area, we would like to let you know to be on the look out for issues. If a dumped dock has been reported in your area, we would reach out to see if you have seen anything. Think of it as dedicated eyes on the ground that we know that we can reach out to if we have any questions. Building the network for watching over Lake Lanier. If you are interested, fill out a volunteer form and let us know.

Lake Lanier shore line with boats in the distance

Hall County Erosion and Sediment Hotline: 770-533-7420
The hotline can be used for any jurisdiction in Hall County. 

Forsyth County: 770-781-2165

City of Cumming: 770-781-2024

Gwinnett County: 678.518.6000

City of Buford: 770-945-6761

Dawson County: (706) 265-2774

Issues with GaDOT projects: Contact EPD

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