DeKalb County

DeKalb County investing $1B to reduce sewage spills

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — New data shows that sewage spills are way down in DeKalb after years of work and millions of dollars.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi learned that the county has invested tens of millions of dollars over the last six years, but plans to spend another billion dollars over the next decade.

Choi found a crew working on both sides of I-285 in Doraville on Tuesday where nearly 500 gallons of raw sewage has spilled over the years.

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DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond says he has made it a priority after the county put it off for half of a century.

“The neglect that has taken place is a thing of the past. We’re moving in the right direction,” Thurmond said.

Over the last few years, sewage spills have decreased by 65%.

Since 2017, the county has invested $159 million while under an EPA consent decree.


Choi has been reporting on their efforts for years on Channel 2 Action News, even going down into a sewer line to show you the clogs.

“By shedding a light on this long-standing problem, it helped to focus our attention,” Thurmond said.

The work will take at least another 10 years to complete, but Thurmond is confident he has the money, skilled workers and political backing to get it accomplished.

“We will never go back to the abuse and neglect that took place decades ago. We’re just not going to do it. Not in this administration and not in any future administration,” he said.

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