Water restored to Atlanta; boil advisory lifted

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced on June 5 that “water services have been fully restored across the city,” despite a boil water advisory persisting for most DeKalb-Atlanta residents who were impacted by the water main breaks until June 6.

Water main breaks occurred in two parts of Atlanta beginning on May 31, with crews working on repairs throughout the first days of June and a boil water advisory going out after the breaks.

Repairs were completed to the initial break that impacted some DeKalb residents on June 1 at the intersection of E. Boone Boulevard and J.P. Brawley Drive, and the second break—at 11th and West Peachtree streets, near midtown Atlanta—was completed on June 4, according to news release from Atlanta and Atlanta Watershed Management.

“We are pleased to announce that water service has been fully restored across our city. Our dedicated teams have worked tirelessly to resolve the issue, and I applaud them for their service,” said Dickens. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our residents and businesses during this challenging time. Together, we have demonstrated the resilience that defines our city.”

Dickens and Atlanta Watershed Management drew criticism during the weekend of water main breaks due to delayed responses to the public, going nearly 14 hours without an update on May 31 and June 1. At a June 1 press conference, Dickens told reporters that Atlanta Watershed would make regular social media updates throughout the remainder of the crisis.

Dickens also declared a state of emergency and said he coordinated with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for assistance with replacing the broken water mains.

According to Atlanta Watershed Management’s website, the city experiences up to 30 water main breaks and other emergency repairs each month, with many of the city’s water mains in the centenarian club.

DeKalb officials sent tankers to city of Atlanta and distributed water for DeKalb-Atlanta residents impacted by the main breaks before water was restored. However, DeKalb County has announced two water main breaks of its own since June 1, which crews completing different repairs at Nichols Road and Candler Road in Decatur.

While the DeKalb breaks were a fraction of the size of the Atlanta breaks, measuring just six and 12 inches compared to Atlanta’s reported 36-inch and 48-inch breaks, approximately 15,000 DeKalb residents lost water and dealt with a boil water advisory after a main break near Scott Boulevard in February.

DeKalb’s infrastructure battles prompted DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to call for an increase in water and sewer rates to help pay for a multi-billion dollar fix to the sewer system, citing its age and DeKalb’s growing population. Thurmond focused much of his early CEO tenure on water and sewer problems in DeKalb.


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