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JLA raising money for litter trap for Jackson Lake
Lake Jackson
A portion of Jackson Lake is in southern Newton County. - photo by Jackie Gutknecht

COVINGTON, Ga. - Jackson Lake has been plagued with so much trash coming downstream that the Jackson Lake Association and South River Watershed Alliance have joined forces to raise $367,000 to install a trash trap in the South River.   

The trash trap, Bandalong Litter trap, manufactured and installed by Storm Water Systems of Cleveland, funnels trash into a basket that can be emptied as often as needed. DeKalb County has agreed to empty the trash on an as needed basis.

Now, several times a year, Jackson Lake volunteers man four trash pontoons and collect trash. The amount of trash is overwhelming and collects daily along the 135 miles of shoreline. The Bandalong Litter trap will capture tons of trash in a year’s time that will help with the trash collection that Turtle Cove maintenance performs along with most homeowners with lake front property.

Four main rivers flow into the lake: The South River, which begins near the Atlanta airport; the Yellow River, which begins near Duluth; the Tussahaw, which begins in Henry County; and the Alcovy River, which begins near Lawrenceville. Along the way, trash from hundreds of homes, construction sites, county roads and parks add to the litter that dumps into Jackson Lake.  Although Jackson Lake is one of the cleanest in Georgia, as confirmed by JLA’s regular water testing, the trash is unsightly. 

"If we do not remove the trash it goes into the Ocmulgee River then on to Macon and then into our Ocean,” JLA’s President Jared Godin said.

So far, approximately $203,000 has been raised toward the cost of the litter trap, including a generous $25,000 commitment from Georgia Power and $25,000 of JLA’s own funds.

Donations are needed immediately to raise the additional funds needed to purchase the equipment and have it in place during the first quarter of 2019. There are several ways to contribute. Go to the homepage of South River Watershed Alliance ( and click on the donation icon at the top of the page through PayPal. In the memo line type in "JLA trash trap." Or mail a check to South River Watershed Alliance, P. O. Box 1341, Decatur, GA. 30031 and note on the memo line "JLA trash trap.” All donations are tax deductible.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Monticello News.