Clayton County Water Authority explains what led to water crisis

FOX 5 spoke with the general manager of the Clayton County Water Authority following the holiday water crisis in the county.

At one point every home was impacted somehow by low water pressure or no water at all due to leaks from burst pipes caused by the bitter cold.

"For the first time in quite a few days we are excited to be back to normal," Horace Bernard Franks said.

It’s safe to say Bernard Franks and his team at the Clayton County Water Authority had a rough holiday season as the frigid holiday temperatures caused chaos, leaving thousands with low water pressure or no water at all during the Christmas holiday.

"It was a perfect storm. It was a holiday too which means there was no one in buildings," Franks said. "At our lowest point we were about 26 PSI when the normal is 95. Our tank levels are normally 44, and they were down to 5 feet, so you can see how desperate we were."

The county maintains the issue was more on the residents and business owner side. Their pipes and lines burst and, because nobody was home for some time to cut the water off, it led to an overall lack in pressure or outage.

Franks says his department received around 11,000 calls and handled about 7,000 cases. Those are just the ones that were reported to his department.

It wasn’t a cheap fix.

"We are right at $400,000 coming from the Water Authority to handle this from boil water advisory to paying employees overtime," Franks said.

Officials say $60,000 went to purchase about 12,000 cases of water to be distributed.

Franks says his team is already working on ways to make sure this never happens again.

"One part of our program that we are looking into more is what’s called an AMI system which stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. If a customer line is leaking it can let us know right here in the office," Franks said.

As many in the county return to the normal flow, Franks says those he serves remains his top priority.

"Our infrastructure is sound. We spend millions and millions a year to make sure our infrastructure is sound," Franks said.