DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - About 2.87 million gallons of sewage spilled out of DeKalb County’s aging sanitation system as the remnants of Sally passed over metro Atlanta last week, officials said Tuesday.
County officials said the spills were from 19 different locations which were overtaken by runoff from 4 to 6 inches of rain that fell on Thursday. The county said the event ranked among the largest in the past decade.
Officials said a spill on Meadow Creek Path spilled more than 2.1 million gallons due to the stormwater. Engineers determined the plant had reached capacity, which has been reduced to accommodate an on-going $300 million overhaul and expansion of the facility.
The new treatment plant will be able to process 54 million gallons of sewage a day, about 18 million gallons more than its current capacity, officials said. The project is estimated to be 72% complete with an end date of 2022.
In a statement sent to FOX 5 News, the county wrote:
“In 2010, a decision was made to demolish a component of the current plant to make room for the new plant’s footprint. While the current plant functions effectively during normal operations, the elimination of a redundant clarifier reduces the plant’s ability to manage excessive flows during storms.”
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This is not the first time this year that stormwater runoff has caused a massive sewage spill. In February, about 9.2 million gallons of sewage spilled along Meadow Creek Path near Glen Park Drive.
U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg on Aug. 31 dismissed a lawsuit brought by the South River Watershed Alliance claiming DeKalb County wasn’t doing enough to clean up sewage dumping problems under a consent decree with federal and state officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report