Dekalb Co. approves sewer hook-ups - CBS46 News

Dekalb Co. approves sewer hook-ups

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Development in Dekalb County is back, just three months after progress had been put on hold. 

The county approved at least three new sewer hook-ups on Friday, but some question the move saying that a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency implies that the county is not in line with a federal consent decree to improve its sewer system and avoid spills.

CBS46 reached out to DeKalb County and they issued the following statement:

The county developed computer-based models for dry and wet weather conditions, which CH2M has certified. The models were submitted to EPA and EPD on Dec. 20, 2017 in compliance with the Consent Decree. A dynamic model for wet weather conditions is being developed.
 
In response to the EPA’s comments, the county has revised language for the certification process that explains the criteria to be used by engineers in making decisions about sewer connections. The Consent Decree requires that decisions are to be based on sound engineering judgment, real world conditions such as sanitary sewer overflows or flow conditions, and a computer-based model.

Two weeks ago, County Commissioner Nancy Jester said a lack of sewer capacity and a federal consent decree to improve the sewer system had led to a complete halt in sewer hook-ups.

"Where is the professional engineer,?" said John Miller, a professional engineer.

John Miller is a retired professional engineer. He serves on the Citizens Advisory Board for Dekalb and has concerns about resuming connections when the county has recorded a record high number of sewer spills during the past year.

"What I would be more concerned about is if a large development was connected to the sewer system," said Miller. "Now I haven’t seen any evidence that they are about to do that, but that would be the red flag for me."

Miller also expressed concern with the expertise of those involved in the approval process specifically that of program administrator Darren Eastall.

"My position is the person looking at that needs to be licensed to practice professional engineering in the state of Georgia," said Miller.

The Dekalb County CEO's office stated that the program administrator did not approve the sewer connections. It was done by Michelle Otts who is a professional engineer. In addition, the county said they have made some revisions to their approval process and they are in line with the consent decree.

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