Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Botched Aug 2013 DeKalb County boil water advisory affects hundreds of thousands - also issue not noted in annual report to consumers.

A Channel 2 Action News investigation found that DeKalb water officials made a serious error with a public health warning last summer. The head of the agency downplayed the scale of the risk, even as complaints poured in from all over the county. When water pressure drops too low, for any reason, there’s a risk the water will become contaminated.

In this case from August 2013, that risk was system wide, affecting 700,000 people. A state inspector complained soon after that DeKalb County had a pattern of not issuing required public health warnings.
The problem started at DeKalb’s massive Scott Candler plant in Doraville. DeKalb County’s response to the drop in water pressure made it seem like a minor disruption, affecting only 37,000 customers in Tucker.  But, what virtually no one knew in August is that DeKalb County was besieged by customer complaints about low pressure from Lithonia, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Decatur, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody – the entire county.

A state inspector was far more critical, writing, “The boil water advisory should have been issued system wide. Calls from customers that were out of the water were not heeded by upper management.”   He said he would give DeKalb County’s water system a grade of “needs improvement.”

DeKalb County  Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) seems to forget about the above issues.

"DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management provides its customers with high quality, safe drinking water that surpasses the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) requirements. DeKalb County has consistently produced superior quality drinking water. "

US EPA states that the Consumer Confidence Reportmust report numerous things including...

the water system's compliance with other drinking water-related rules

This information looks to be missing from the 2013 Consumer Confidence Report that was published in May 2014 to me.   Maybe it will be noted in the next one?

1 comment:

John Heneghan said...

2 Investigates Whistleblower removed from job after exposing DeKalb Watershed Pt. 2