Heavy Rains This Weekend Could Result in Sewer Overflows and Spills

DECATUR, Ga. – The National Weather Service is predicting rainfall of nearly 3 inches this weekend as heavy rains are expected that could continue into next week. This level of rainfall 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.

“Weather events like the heavy rains that are predicted for this weekend are a major source of overflows and spills,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said. “We continue to make progress in repairing and updating our sewer system that has been neglected for many years.”

DeKalb County has a very aggressive monitoring and reporting system, which results in increased reported spills. Teams of employees are sent out immediately after a rain in areas of frequent spills. Teams are also daily walking stream rights-of-way and sampling water to identify spills so remediation can begin as soon as possible. 

DeKalb County has undertaken several remediation initiatives to address and prevent spills including:

•           Visually inspecting pipes and infrastructure along streams and creeks

•           Improving aging infrastructure

•           In two years, assessing and cleaning more than 700 miles of pipes

•           Replacing vented manhole covers that allow rainwater to enter the system. More than 2,200 vented covers have been replaced since January 2017 with plans to replace the remaining 1,800 vented covers.

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.