At least 18 sewer spills reported in DeKalb after Thursday’s rain
A June sewer spill near Meadow Creek Path in Lithonia. SPECIAL PHOTO
By Tyler Estep
At least 18 sewer spills were reported in DeKalb County on Thursday, as the remnants of Hurricane Sally dumped several inches of rain on the metro Atlanta area.
Initial spill reports did not provide information about potential volume. Many of the incidents were at regular trouble spots, including a location on Meadow Creek Path near Lithonia that sawtwo multimillion gallon spillsearlier this year.
DeKalb’s aging infrastructure often has issues when heavy rain infiltrates the wastewater system through cracked pipes and other defects. The sudden influx of rainwater overwhelms the pipes, pushing untreated sewage — including human waste — out of manholes and other structures.
The sewage often ends up in local waterways, where it can present public health and ecological dangers by spreading bacteria like E.coli.
DeKalb County has been under a consent decree with state and federal environmental regulators since 2011, ordered to repair its long-neglected wastewater system, reduce spills and comply with the federal Clean Water Act.
While efforts havesped upunder current CEO Michael Thurmond, previous years of mismanagement and corruption left the county way behind schedule. The consent decree’s original deadline passed in June, and the arrangement iscurrently being renegotiated.
Details of a modified consent decree could be made public next month.
Locations of sewer spills reported in DeKalb County on Thursday:
I am proud to serve over 380,000 constituents from Doraville to Tucker, Decatur (Unincorporated DeKalb), Lithonia, and Stonecrest. District 7 is one of the largest districts in the State of Georgia. With diversity, unique communities, and a wide variety of economic resources, I embrace the opportunity to leverage our resources to make DeKalb great!