Atlanta teams up with Army Engineers to overhaul old water lines

The city of Atlanta will be working with the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the water lines after a series of water main breaks last week. 

Engineers say the pipe that caused the water main break at 11th and West Peachtree streets was around 120 years old. Now they are working to evaluate the entire water system. 

"We need to do physical assessments first and then go from there to know what areas to prioritize," Alou Rice, an environmental engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said. 

Army Corps of Engineers aiding Atlanta

Rice has been in town all week meeting with the mayor and city officials. He said a pipe's age, material, and soil in which it is situated all play a role in determining which ones should be replaced first. 

"Now we're going back and hopefully getting funding together to get this assessment going, so we can assess the entire system," Rice explained. 

Atlanta water crisis

Last Friday, pipes burst on both 11th Street and Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. Rice said those breaks weren't connected. 

"These breaks were on two different lines that were not connected together, so you scratch your head like how did it happen," he explained. 

"It's like winning the lottery. One-in-a-million chance you know it's not something that'll happen on a consistent basis," he added. 

Atlanta mayor pledges funds for infastructure

Mayor Andre Dickens has since announced a Blue Ribbon Panel for policy recommendations as well as plans to request upwards of $1 billion from the federal government for repairs. 

Rice feels the city is now better prepared for any future incidents. 

"Just in case that one in a million chance happens again, the response is going to be a whole lot better," Rice explained. 

All roads were reopened as of Friday morning, more than a week after the water crisis in Atlanta began.