DeKalb County: Water pressure returning, advisory could be lifted this afternoon

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 26, 2015
A dripping faucet. Photo by Danny Steaven. Source: Wikimedia commons

A dripping faucet. Photo by Danny Steaven. Source: Wikimedia commons

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County says it has discovered why water pressure was low for many residents after crews working for the county fixed a broken water main on Sunday morning, July 26.

The county says a boil water advisory remains in effect, but testing is underway to see if it can be lifted this afternoon. Spokesperson Emily Schwarz told Decaturish, “Water continues to return to DeKalb County residents and businesses, after crews opened a blocked valve. We have heard reports from the hospitals that pressure is increasing. Residents with water are encouraged to conserve water for basic needs in order to speed the process countywide.”

The break occurred when a  mower hit a fire hydrant on a 48 inch main transmission line. That led to drastically low or no pressure on Thursday evening and sporadically on the afternoon of Friday, July 24. Businesses opted to close early or stop serving food altogether while DeKalb County made the repairs. The city of Decatur had to close its Slide the City water slide event early. Restaurants also decided to close early due to the water pressure and quality issues.

The county has published the following statement around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon:

Water Main Repairs Completed on 48” Line

County urges residents to limit water use during next 24 hours to assist return of pressure

DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management crews completed repairs on a 48-inch main transmission line at Henderson Mill and Evans Road overnight, and began restoring pressure to the line at approximately 4 a.m.

The county is making a correction on a water valve, which is rapidly increasing the system pressure. It will take several hours to restore the system pressure. DeKalb Water customers should see a return of normal service today.

County residents are asked to limit water use during the next 24 hours and encouraged to only use water for basic needs, which will help speed the return of the pressure to all areas of the county. Activities such as outdoor watering, car washing, etc. should be delayed until the system is back up. This would include turning off irrigation systems that are on a timer.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday night, crews reduced water pressure to ensure the safety of workers installing a solid sleeve on the water line which had been breached since Thursday afternoon. The delay was exacerbated by the presence of several other utilities at the same location, including electricity, natural gas, telephone, roads, and other water lines.  Crews will return later this week to address the cavity near the road that was caused by the breach and repairs.

Although water pressure in the water system is returning to normal conditions, a boil water advisory remains in effect for all DeKalb County water customers until further notice. In an abundance of caution for our citizens and to protect the public from any potential health hazards, citizens are advised to boil all water prior to use for drinking, cooking or preparing baby food. The water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil. Residents served by the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management should continue to boil water until notified by DeKalb County after testing, the microbiological quality of the water is safe for human use.  When the test results are available, DeKalb County, in conjunction with the EPD, will provide an update to the boil water status.

A CodeRED announcement of the boil water advisory was issued to subscribers beginning Saturday afternoon. Sign up for CodeRED alerts here.

Check back for updates.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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