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Repairs to DeKalb water main should be done by Friday night, county says

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.

MORE: Massive water main break impacts schools, hospitals, services  

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.

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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DeKalb’s Watershed Management Department has been plagued by issues over the years, including outdated meters that led to widespread water billing issues and a decaying sewage system that is the source of regular spills.

Stay with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the latest:

IN-DEPTH: Impact of water main break in Doraville felt across DeKalb County

IN-DEPTH: Massive main break brings DeKalb another day of water woes

IN-DEPTH: DeKalb Watershed Management director resigns with scathing letter

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.”

DeKalb County Watershed Management officials expect to complete repairs to a broken water main Friday evening, officials said. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

9:15 a.m.: Crews are still in the process of installing a new water main.

Crews are still in the process of installing a new water main in DeKalb County following a massive break. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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.

Crews have lowered a new main into the ground at the site of the massive water main break in DeKalb County. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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.

Repair work is ongoing to fix a water main that broke and led to widespread outages and flooding along Buford Highway in DeKalb County. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

5:30 a.m.: Although DeKalb County Schools and Decatur City Schools are back open, students are asked to bring bottled water.

RELATED: DeKalb, Decatur schools to reopen after water main break forced closure

— Staff writer Ellen Eldridge contributed to this article.

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