Crews are working around the clock to repair a 48-inch water main that broke Wednesday morning, disrupting a multitude of services across DeKalb County, including hospitals, businesses, restaurants and schools.
Buford Highway, which was shut down in Doraville most the day, has reopened. And local schools are resuming operations Thursday.
But DeKalb officials said water pressure is still being restored to customers, and a boil water advisory remains in effect for the entire county.
Reggie Wells, acting director of DeKalb’s Watershed Management Department, said Wednesday night the advisory could last for days.
That’s one reason shoppers scrambled to grab bottled water from many stores, clearing the shelves by mid-afternoon.
The 20- to 30-year-old main broke just north of I-285 about 4:30 a.m. and blocked the roadway for hours. The county’s CEO said a “full-scale investigation” will be conducted into the cause of the break.
DeKalb’s Watershed Management Department has been plagued by issues over the years, including outdated meters that led to widespread water billing issues and a decaying sewage system that is the source of regular spills.
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11:01 a.m.: All DeKalb government facilities are open today, and DeKalb sanitation crews remain on their normal schedules.
10:49 a.m.: DeKalb County Watershed Management officials expect to complete repairs to a broken water main Friday evening, officials said.
A boil water advisory will remain in effect until microbiological tests confirm water is safe for consumption. Samples for testing were drawn from 49 sites throughout the county and submitted to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for evaluation, according to the county.
“Until officially notified by DeKalb County, customers should continue to boil all water prior to use for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby food,” the county said. “The water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil.”
9:15 a.m.: Crews are still in the process of installing a new water main.
6:35 a.m.: Crews have lowered a new water main into the ground at the site of the massive water main break, Channel 2 reported.
Workers hope to have the main repaired in a day or so.
6:06 a.m.: Water has been restored to Perimeter Mall, which is set to reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
5:33 a.m.: Crews have made a hole for a new pipe, and the new pipe is on the scene.
It could be Saturday until the boil water advisory is lifted, officials told Channel 2 Action News.
5:30 a.m.: Although DeKalb County Schools and Decatur City Schools are back open, students are asked to bring bottled water.
— Staff writer Ellen Eldridge contributed to this article.