DeKalb County

DeKalb CEO says big changes coming to southern part of county thanks to sewer upgrade project

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — If you live in South DeKalb, county leaders say your life is about to change with major new developments moving in.

“We’ll see economic growth, improved quality of life and literally a new day for South DeKalb,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond told Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi.

The announcement comes after years of no growth.

The federal government banned DeKalb County from allowing new businesses to tie into the county’s aging sewer lines after repeated spills and leaks.

But now, crews cleared enough lines in the Snapfinger Basin that the county can start projects through the federally approved Sewer Credit Bank.

“As work is completed, we can earn credits that can be used to allow other development in the Snapfinger basin,” Thurmond said.

Crews clear about four tons of debris a week from the lines.


The CEO told Choi that the county spent $1 billion over the last several years fixing the system, with another $1 billion worth of work still ahead.

But in the meantime, the county can use 700 million gallons of sewer credit to allow new construction—enough for hundreds of new developments.

The CEO said he has 250 development deals lined up and ready to start construction immediately.

Some of the applications date back to 2018.

But after years of disappointment, some residents, like James Smith, are skeptical.

“You hear so much, and nothing happens,” Smith said.

Thurmond says they’ll believe it when they see it. And he predicts, they’ll see it soon.

“What I can say to the citizens is stay tuned,” Thurmond said.