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DeKalb County CEO orders review of circumstances that led to boil water advisory

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DeKalb County CEO orders review of circumstances that led to boil water advisory

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DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt


DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has ordered a review of the circumstances that led to a boil water advisory for all residents on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

Thurmond wants to know about the redundancies in place at water treatment plants.

According to the county, “Heavy thunderstorms affecting Scott Candler Water Treatment Plant in north DeKalb County led to power outages at approximately 10:40 p.m., Sept. 13, and 2:36 a.m., Sept. 14, 2019. Backup generators immediately powered up and restored electricity to the facility within three minutes.”

That led the county to issue a boil water advisory in the middle of the morning on Saturday, Sept. 14. Many residents had been drinking and using the water for hours by the time the county issued the advisory. Restaurant owners were most affected by the advisory, and it thoroughly annoyed everyone else. The county lifted the advisory for most residents on Sept. 15 and for Dunwoody on Sept. 16. Before the county lifted the advisory, the county school system was considering cancelling school on Monday, Sept. 16.

The county wants to know more about how this situation unfolded. The county said, “A primary focus of the analysis [of what led to the boil water advisory] will be the evaluation of power generating redundancies at the Scott Candler Water Treatment Plant and other county facilities.”

“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,” Thurmond said.

The review will likely bring additional scrutiny to the county’s Department of Watershed Management.

“The review will be an independent factual analysis of DWM’s protocols, standard operating procedures and training,” the county said. “Findings will be shared with DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and the public, and used to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvements.”

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