DeKalb County, Georgia officials looking into the cause of two sewer spills
DeKalb County storm water employees are searching for structural defects in their storm water system after two massive sewer spills.
According to DeKalb County officials, heavy rainfall at the beginning of March caused a 6.9 million-gallon spill on Meadow Creek Path. In February, there was another 9.2 million gallon sewer spill at the same site, reported CBS 46.
Both spills caused storm water intrusions into the wastewater system.
Officials are working to identify the location of the storm water intrusion, according to CBS 46. DeKalb County’s wastewater system includes 2,600 miles of pipes, which is further than the distance from Atlanta to Los Angeles, according to a DeKalb County spokesperson.
The county also has 70,000 manholes and during early March’s rainfall, there was intrusion in 16 of the 70,000 manholes.
According to DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, “identifying the source or sources of storm water intrusion that caused the spills along Meadow Creek Path as a top priority.”
The county is using the following detection methods: helicopter flyovers; drones flight investigations; ultrasonic tracking; sonar testing; visual observations while walking miles of sewer pipes during storms; flow monitoring; and smoke testing.
“Prior to rain events, DeKalb crews are engaged in proactively monitoring the system, securing resources, and preparing mobile response units. After all sewer spills, DeKalb crews work to mitigate health concerns”, said a DeKalb County spokesperson.
DeKalb County began its 10-year plan to fix its wastewater system in 2017, spending more than $301 million in capital improvements.
Capital improvements included wastewater treatment plant upgrades, sewer pipe rehabilitation, manhole repairs and replacement and lift station renovations.