• Nearly 4 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into Nancy Creek

    By: Richard Belcher

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A massive spill has sent nearly four million gallons of raw sewage into a Brookhaven Creek.

    DeKalb County’s CEO confirmed the spill happened last week along a tributary to Nancy Creek.

    Crews are now working to replace the broken line that led to the spill.

    Officials tell Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher it’s the worst spill of its kind in more than a decade.

    We broke the story that during the first half of the year, DeKalb County was on track for a 63-percent increase in sewer spills.


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    County officials say many of those were caused by heavy rains but that is not what caused the huge spill in Brookhaven.

    Belcher was there Tuesday as workers were swarming over the site along a tributary to Nancy Creek -- not far from Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

    Massive raw sewage spill in Nancy Creek
    WSB-TV
    They were getting ready to install a new 12-inch line to replace a 10-inch line that ran along the creek bank. When the bank eroded, the line broke.

    Raw sewage escaped for days before city of Atlanta officials noticed an elevated bacterial count downstream.

    DeKalb County officials identified and stopped the leak late last week.

    The county notified the state that a little more than 3.9 million gallons of sewage got into the creek.

    Scott Towler, DeKalb's watershed director, explained just how massive this spill is.

    “It'll make it one of the biggest in the consent decree. I think the largest that the county had was 2006,” Towler said.

    The consent decree is DeKalb's binding agreement with federal and state environmental authorities to improve its sewer system and promptly report all spills.

    “It's a major spill so we'll be doing on-stream monitoring for the next year,” Towler said.

    County Commissioner Nancy Jester is a frequent critic of county administrators.

    She says the latest spill is more evidence DeKalb is playing catch-up.

    “It wouldn't have happened had we been more professionally managing our system all along, and that's why we have these engineers here. And we need to let them do their job,” Jester said.

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