At least 18 sewer spills reported in DeKalb after Thursday’s rain

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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 saw two multimillion gallon spills earlier 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 have sped up under 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 is currently being renegotiated.

Details of a modified consent decree could be made public next month.

Locations of sewer spills reported in DeKalb County on Thursday:

  • 4124 Flakes Mill Road, Ellenwood
  • 2614 Lake Erin Drive, Tucker
  • 308 2nd Ave., Decatur
  • 3433 Brookfield Lane, Decatur
  • 3548 Brookfield Lane, Decatur
  • 3401 Tulip Drive, Decatur
  • 1964 East Starmount Way, Decatur
  • 2089 Garden Circle, Decatur
  • 4557 Meadow Creek Path, Lithonia
  • 4027 Flakes Mill Road, Decatur
  • 3087 Thrasher Circle, Decatur
  • 3230 Boring Road, Decatur
  • 1496 Country Squire Drive, Decatur
  • 2480 Miriam Lane, Decatur
  • 2562 Tilly Mill Road, Doraville
  • 3391 Warbler Drive, Decatur
  • 2804 Millwood Way, Decatur
  • 1707 Childerlee Lane, Atlanta

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