BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Cahaba River is vital to communities in its watershed.

Communities in Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Perry, and Dallas counties benefit from the water, and this week volunteers from Spire are working to keep it clean.

Spire is partnering with the Cahaba River Society to remove litter and invasive wild taro from the river.

Spire communications manager Aaron Schmidt says it was vital for them to give back in cleaning up the Cahaba River.

“The employees have been enjoying being out here doing it, and they really learn a lot and come out here year to year to do it,” Schmidt said.

Things like plastic, cans, chairs, and mattresses have all been found in the Cahaba River.

Will Rainer with the Cahaba River Society explained that most of the litter in the river comes after heavy rains in the spring and summer.

“Up the hill is an apartment complex, and I’ve walked these woods, and people will throw stuff out their window,” Rainer said. “It rains real heavy, and the rain washes down into the river, and that’s when it’s all down in here.”

Volunteers will be back on the Cahaba River on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon.