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CEO says DeKalb will investigate whether ‘physical tampering’ caused water main break

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CEO says DeKalb will investigate whether ‘physical tampering’ caused water main break

Michael Thurmond. File photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers
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Michael Thurmond. File photo obtained via Reporter Newspapers

A large water main break that occurred in DeKalb County early Wednesday morning will be investigated, according to DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond.

County officials intend to investigate whether physical tampering caused the rupture in the 48 inch main. The break caused DeKalb County Schools and City Schools of Decatur to close for the day, and disrupted numerous businesses.

“The DeKalb County Government will initiate a full-scale investigation into the cause of today’s massive water main break,” Thurmond said in a statement. “We will determine whether the break was the result of a systematic failure, improper maintenance, wear and tear or physical tampering. I am committed to making sure our infrastructure is protected and maintained in a manner that will ensure quality service to the citizens of DeKalb County.”

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The rupture damaged about 60 feet of pipe. During a press conference held on Wednesday, county officials said the pipe in question was not one of the county’s older pipes that was scheduled to be replaced.

Decaturish left a message with a county spokesperson to understand why the possibility of physical tampering is being investigated.

County Commissioner Jeff Rader said he was not sure why that possibility was being explored.

“I don’t know why he would say physical tampering,” Rader said. “It’s nine feet underground. Nobody was poking at that pipe, I’m pretty sure.”

Rader said the county’s priority should be figuring out why Wednesday’s water main break happened and working to prevent a similar incident in the future.

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