Continued Rains Could Result in Sewer Overflows and Spills

Dekalb County

The National Weather Service is predicting continued rainfall today, and because the ground is already saturated, the runoff from these storms could result in sewer overflows and spills.

In DeKalb County, the public is asked to report any indication of overflows and spills by calling 770-270-6243, which operates 24 hours a day.

DeKalb County has a very aggressive monitoring and reporting system which allows the county to identify spills that are not reported by the public.

In 2018, the county deployed electronic flow monitors to collect real-time data to locate, identify, reduce and eliminate wet weather spills. Additionally, flow monitors are used to collect data to identify stormwater intrusion. Without flow monitors, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to pinpoint, assess and mitigate spills.

“Stormwater intrusion into the sewer system is a major source of overflows and spills in our county,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said.

To prepare for the continued rainfall, county crews are:

  • Monitoring weather predictions, including rainfall amounts and wind gusts.
  • Deploying additional crews for key response and service areas, including dispatch, spill response, plant operations and maintenance, and flow monitoring.
  • Fueling generators, vehicles, heavy equipment and pumps.
  • Ensuring sufficient warehouse stocking levels for equipment and supplies such as rain suits, gloves, face shields and saws.
  • Putting existing contracted vendors on standby to provide additional needed resources and equipment.

Teams of employees are sent out immediately after major storms. Teams are also inspecting stream rights-of-way and sampling water to identify spills so remediation can begin as soon as possible. 

Homeowners can assist with reducing spills by eliminating sources such as illegal connections to sanitary sewer systems and replacing missing and broken sewer cleanout caps.