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"Significant" Failure at South Cobb Water Treatment Facility Leads to Overflow near Chattahoochee River

January 9, 2019

A major pump failure at the South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility has resulted in the release of a combination of rainwater, creek water, and untreated wastewater into Nickajack Creek near the Chattahoochee River.  Because of the recent heavy rainfall and flooding conditions, the system was already at near full-capacity when the failure occurred.

Cobb Water officials have been aggressively installing replacement pumps to address the situation, but have not yet been able to bring the system back to its full capacity.  They continue to investigate the cause of the failure and are working with the state Environmental Protection Division.  The full extent of the release is not known at this time.  Water System officials say high flows in Nickajack Creek and the Chattahoochee River are increasing the difficulty of resolving this situation, but will ultimately help to mitigate impacts.

"We take any environmental impact caused by this incident very seriously," said Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce.  "It will be all-hands-on-deck until we can address the situation and figure out what caused the problem."

The Water System brought in temporary pumps from as far away as South Florida over the New Year’s holiday and continue to bring in resources.  The area affected is county-owned land near the river and mostly remote, but workers are posting signs and will close off any nearby trails.

The problem does not involve the County’s water supply and distribution system at all.  Tap water remains completely safe to drink or use for other purposes.