Water Continues To Be Restored To DeKalb County After Main Break

A 48-inch water line on Buford Highway in Doraville burst Wednesday morning.
A 48-inch water line on Buford Highway in Doraville burst Wednesday morning.
Credit Al Such / WABE

Updated at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday

Water continues to be restored to homes and businesses across DeKalb County after a massive water main break Wednesday morning.

When a 48-inch water line on Buford Highway in Doraville burst, thousands of homes and business were left without water for most of Wednesday.  In some parts of the county where there is water service, pressure is low.

Low water supplies led to several businesses closing and prompted more than 100 schools to send more than 100,000 students home Wednesday.

Reginald Wells, with DeKalb’s Watershed management department, said the line that broke was relatively new compared to the rest of the system.

“We estimate around this time that it’s approximately 20 to 30 years in age,” Wells said.

DeKalb County Watershed crews said it could take a couple of days before water operations in the county are back to normal.

Wells said county residents should still boil their water for cooking and drinking.

“Chances are by afternoon Saturday we should kind of have an idea of what we’re looking at with lifting the boil water advisory,” Wells said.

Although, Wells said, the entire system should be up and running by then.

“The plan is within hopefully the next 48 hours to have this line completely tied in and begin to put water back on it, that is the plan, that is the hope,” he said.

Crews have already re-opened the part of Buford Highway that was damaged by the break.

County CEO Michael Thurmond said they still have to investigate what led to the incident.

“There was some type of structural failure,” Thurmond said. “We don’t know exactly what it is. That is a process that we will go through to help to determine the cause of this.”

The water main break could have been the site of a previous break just a few years ago.

Thurmond said they are trying to figure out if that’s the case.

“That’s one of the issues that we are examining,” Thurmond said. “And of course our watershed staff will do a deep dive to determine what happened, how it happened, and number one, what can be done to create a more secure environment going forward.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report