DeKalb CEO Orders Full-Scale Investigation Into Water Main Break

Michael Thurmond apologizes to those negatively affected

Maria Boynton
March 08, 2018 - 9:16 pm

(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

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DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond says "we'll get to the bottom of it." Reports estimated that 100 million gallons of water spilled onto Buford Highway in Doraville Wednesday when a 48-inch water main broke just north of I-285. According to Thurmond, "we are going to have a full-scale investigation to understand what caused it, whether it was a lack of maintenance or improper installation, or even tampering with the system in some way."

The water outage affected hospitals, schools, businesses, and homes. A boil water order remains in effect for all of DeKalb County. Students returning to classes in DeKalb and Decatur City schools were told to bring bottled water for drinking. Businesses and churches were asked to donate water.

"The number one task at hand", says Thurmond, "is to repair the break and return water service levels to where they were before the break." He says that while water pressure has returned, with what he calls "an interim solution", he adds they hope to have the main water line back in place by 6:00 this evening.

DeKalb County has had decades of problems with its water and sewer system. Thurmond says they're making progress, adding, "it's a difficult road, but it's a journey that we are going to succeed on."