Residents wonder why sewage spill took so long to detect - CBS46 News

Residents wonder why sewage spill took so long to detect

Posted: Updated:
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
BROOKHAVEN, GA (CBS46) -

A fallen tree is to blame for a rupture in a sewer line that spilled 4 million gallons of raw sewage into a DeKalb County creek and residents are wondering why it took so long for county officials to find out about it.

It took DeKalb County officials nine days to find the source of a staggering leak into Nancy Creek in Brookhaven, which turned out to be deep into the woods behind resident Judith Durham's home. The creek passes through Atlanta and feeds into the Chattahoochee River.

Toxic spills plague every county in the metro Atlanta area and when they occur off the beaten path like this one, the hazardous leaks could pour into waterways for weeks, killing fish and threatening drinking water.

But now, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is receiving a federal grant to buy state-of-the-art water sensors that will alert them the moment that something is going wrong.

"This is the first time the EPA has given a grant to build a sensor like this, so that's kind of exciting," says Harold Harbert with the Georgia EPD.

The department can't divulge exactly where they plan on putting the sensors, but there's obviously going to be a few in the Chattahoochee River. They may even put them into small streams, like the one in this neighborhood where the sewage spilled.

The sensors transmit real-time data and replace the need to periodically visit the water and test it in person.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46