DeKalb County: “We do not wish to continue boiling our water either”

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 27, 2015
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County has been under a boil water advisory since Saturday, July 25, and there’s no word on when it might end.

The boil water advisory is the result of a water main break that occurred on July 23 when someone hit a fire hydrant with a mower. The hydrant sits on a 48-inch main at Henderson Mill and Evans roads. The problem was fixed on Sunday, but the county still has not lifted the advisory.

The county, which has been keeping residents updated via Twitter, has urged residents to be patient.

The problems have left many residents and business owners, particularly restaurants, frustrated. Some restaurants have had to limit their menus to avoid using the county water during the advisory. Decatur spokesperson Casie Yoder reminded residents that some businesses are trying to work within the limitations of the advisory.

“Some Decatur restaurants are stocked up on bottled water, ice and disposable plates, cups & cutlery and are open tonight,” she said in a post on the city’s Decatur Minute blog. “They would appreciate your business if you don’t feel like boiling water.”

The water main debacle hit Decatur especially hard. The city of Decatur had to close its Slide the City water slide event early on Saturday, July 25, bringing an abrupt end to a 1,000 foot water slide on West Ponce. The city reported that 3,600 tickets had been sold for the event. There’s been no word on rescheduling the event or refunds.

The county has described the boil water advisory as precautionary and said initial test results showed no bacteria.

“DeKalb Watershed Management sampled 20 water sites on Friday, July 24 and 40 water sites Saturday, July 25, which all showed negative for bacteria. Fifty water sites were sampled on Sunday, July 26, and those results are expected today,” the county said on Monday, July 27.

Decaturish has been digging into why such a seemingly-minor issue created such havoc around DeKalb County. An email exchange shows that there was a dispute between the county and a contractor hired to fix the main. County commissioners have also raised questions about the county’s response and efforts to inform the public about the issue.

DeKalb has encouraged residents to sign up for emergency notification alerts with Code Red. To sign up for notifications on your land line or mobile phone, click here.

Also, the county says its swimming pools are fine.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • BaguetteDuSorcier

    If you like getting your info with a side of hostility and snark, the DeKalb communications folk have definitely got you covered throughout this water issue.

  • Dagmar

    The issue with DeKalb’s handling of this problem is that there was no apparent communications plan in place. And whoever is running the social media accounts apparently thinks it’s sufficient to post every 2-3 hours. Posting on an hourly (or 30 min) basis – even if you’re repeating the same information – is still better at staying in touch! And – telling us that test results would be available “in the am”, when they’re still not available at 7pm the next evening is unacceptable. If you don’t know how long the testing process takes, please say so. So so frustrating!

    • wamylove

      They also lied about when the hydrant was hit, Apparently it was around 3 PM, not 11 PM.
      The lady representing them on the TV reports was very flippant and hostile.

  • YoMomma

    Yea well… we don’t either.. either.
    yea so there.

  • Tom Doolittle

    Wamylove–if she said 11:00 PM, that was definitely incorrect. I passed thru at precisely 11:30 AM and it had already happened. It wasn’t 3:00 PM.

    Dagmar is absolutely right–every 30 minutes or hour in such a situation–particularly if the peril is real. Maybe not using the Code red system, but other means. The county website should be a “go to” that you can count for frequent updates at all times. Their last message was there from AM all day–with no time stamp.

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