By Tyler Estep, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga
At least 18 sewer spills were reported in DeKalb County on Thursday, as the remnants of Hurricane Sally dumped several inches of rain on the metro Atlanta area.
Initial spill reports did not provide information about potential volume. Many of the incidents were at regular trouble spots, including a location on Meadow Creek Path near Lithonia that saw two multimillion gallon spills earlier this year.
DeKalb’s aging infrastructure often has issues when heavy rain infiltrates the wastewater system through cracked pipes and other defects. The sudden influx of rainwater overwhelms the pipes, pushing untreated sewage — including human waste — out of manholes and other structures.
The sewage often ends up in local waterways, where it can present public health and ecological dangers by spreading bacteria like E.coli.
DeKalb County has been under a consent decree with state and federal environmental regulators since 2011, ordered to repair its long-neglected wastewater system, reduce spills and comply with the federal Clean Water Act.
While efforts have sped up under current CEO Michael Thurmond, previous years of mismanagement and corruption left the county way behind schedule. The consent decree’s original deadline passed in June, and the arrangement is currently being renegotiated.
Details of a modified consent decree could be made public next month.
Locations of sewer spills reported in DeKalb County on Thursday:
4124 Flakes Mill Road, Ellenwood
2614 Lake Erin Drive, Tucker
308 2nd Ave., Decatur
3433 Brookfield Lane, Decatur
3548 Brookfield Lane, Decatur
3401 Tulip Drive, Decatur
1964 East Starmount Way, Decatur
2089 Garden Circle, Decatur
4557 Meadow Creek Path, Lithonia
4027 Flakes Mill Road, Decatur
3087 Thrasher Circle, Decatur
3230 Boring Road, Decatur
1496 Country Squire Drive, Decatur
2480 Miriam Lane, Decatur
2562 Tilly Mill Road, Doraville
3391 Warbler Drive, Decatur
2804 Millwood Way, Decatur
1707 Childerlee Lane, Atlanta