Sewage spill, closed road: Cobb hires contractor to help with flooding

Columns Drive remains closed from Willow Knoll Drive to Atlanta Country Club Drive due to flooding after new-year rains have soaked Cobb County.

Credit: Cobb County Government

Credit: Cobb County Government

Columns Drive remains closed from Willow Knoll Drive to Atlanta Country Club Drive due to flooding after new-year rains have soaked Cobb County.

Continuing rains kept sewage spilling into a creek Thursday and closed a road near a Cobb County country club, officials said.

Drinking water is safe, but an unknown amount of untreated wastewater has spilled into one of the Chattahoochee River’s main tributaries, Nickajack Creek, after the pumps at a county water treatment facility were flooded.

And right on the riverbank is Columns Drive, which authorities closed between Willow Knoll Drive to Atlanta Country Club Drive during the rainy weekend before New Year's Eve. The neighborhood is in the former municipality of Chattahoochee Plantation.

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This is the notice that Cobb County has posted to let people know about the sewage overflow into Nickajack Creek, which is a main tributary of the Chattahoochee River. (Cobb County Government)

Credit: Cobb County Government

icon to expand image

Credit: Cobb County Government

Contractors are working with Cobb County Department of Transportation and county water staff to pump the remaining water from the still-closed road, said county spokesman Ross Cavitt.

“The recovery has been hampered by drivers going around barricades which has caused personal property damage and hindered the DOT pumps trying to clear out the water,” Cavitt said.

Most in the posh neighborhood are still able to still able to get to where they need to go by navigating other streets.

Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott said in an email to constituents that the road would be closed through Friday.

Cavitt did not have an estimate on how much the recovery has cost or what the contractors are costing the county.

He said the county water system has hired a contractor to find a supply of additional pumps to clear out a pump shaft near the South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility with its flooded pumps. The county is borrowing pumps from many other municipalities in the area and one from south Florida.

It isn’t clear how, but water got into what was supposed to a be a dry area and caused the pumps to fail Monday, pushing a mixture of rainwater along with creek water and untreated wastewater into the Nickajack just south of Discovery Boulevard.

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Cavitt said authorities don’t know how that happened and won’t know until they remove water from the facility.

Meteorologists predict that the rain will continue through Friday, but the sun will peek out Saturday.

As for Columns Drive and flooding on other roads, Cavitt said, “the DOT has moved in some pumps to clear out what is there and try to stay ahead of what is coming.”

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Days after a sewage backup sent inches of contaminated water into two homes, owners and tenants are fighting the county to get help cleadning and repairing the damage.