Atlanta, GA (CBS46) Sewage spills are a sign of a bigger problem that's underneath your feet. The metro's municipal water and sewer lines are old and at risk of breaking.

The CBS46 Bulldog discovered it's going to take a lot of money to fix the problem.

The Bulldog investigative team has uncovered something startling about our water systems. Our research found that the state of Georgia needs $12 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years.

Pump failures in the city of Atlanta, Cobb County and sewer leaks in DeKalb have been sending water systems into chaos. The pumps and the pipes.

"We simply don’t have enough revenue to meet the demands of our drinking water systems,” says Greg Diloreto, infrastructure expert with the American Society of Civil Engineers.

But he says it’s no excuse for the failures we’ve been seeing. There is staff that’s supposed to be predicting and preventing.

"They look at how many pipe breaks,” says Diloreto. “There’s a maintenance schedule for those pump stations."

He says new computer modeling is coming online to help predict the next anticipated breakdowns. But a surefire fix is something most of us don’t want to hear.

"Your water rates would need to go up and Americans need to say, ‘we think it’s pretty important that we have drinking water 24/7.’ Reliable. We can count on it and we're going to have to pay for that,” continued Diloreto.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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