DeKalb crews contain sewer main break

Mike Edwards (L) and Austin Glore from Sunbelt Rentals look over the large pumps at a DeKalb sewer main break Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Combined ShapeCaption
Mike Edwards (L) and Austin Glore from Sunbelt Rentals look over the large pumps at a DeKalb sewer main break Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Few specifics provided about spill near Bouldercrest Road and I-285

DeKalb County crews have contained a sewer main break near Bouldercrest Road and I-285.

Few details were immediately available. But a press release said the broken 24-inch sewer main was “in an isolated, wooded area with no public access.” The issue was discovered when “crews performing routine stream monitoring detected elevated levels of fecal coliform and began an investigation.”

“This break is being investigated and appears to be due to severe bank erosion on the South River,” a press release said.

Officials said a bypass pump to stop the spill was installed by about 11 p.m. Monday night. Work on more permanent repairs has begun.

No information on the volume of the spill was immediately available. Officials said such details would be reported in coming days.

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DeKalb’s sewer system was neglected for decades and spills from the aging infrastructure routinely send wastewater out into the community and the environment. That includes local waterways, where bacteria like E. coli can create ecological and public health hazards.

Spills have been especially prolific in what’s known as the Snapfinger Basin, which covers much of the southern end of the county.

That said, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond has made the sewer and water systems a priority during his tenure and hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent on repairs. A new consent decree with state and federal environmental regulators — which guides the county’s ongoing repair and replacement projects — was put in place last September, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.