DeKalb County officials reported Aug. 22 that a 3.9 million gallon sewage spill in the Nancy Creek Basin in Brookhaven and near Sandy Springs has been contained. County inspectors discovered that a 10-inch diameter pipe compromised by soil erosion caused the spill, according to a press release.

The sewage spill was reported Aug. 17 by DeKalb County to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has directed staff to issue an emergency task order to have all pipes in the Nancy Creek area inspected to prevent any future spills, according to a press release. Additionally, staff has been instructed to conduct routine inspections of hundreds of miles of pipes parallel to county creeks and tributaries. DeKalb County records reveal that due to location and staffing limitations, pipes in this area have not been routinely inspected.

“The preservation of our waterways is critical to sustaining a high quality of life in DeKalb County,” Thurmond said in the press release. “It is imperative that we ensure our infrastructure is properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis to ensure the protection of our creeks, tributaries and ecosystem as a whole.”

County workers contained the spill and made repairs on Aug. 17. Additional repair work includes the replacement of 600 feet of root-clogged pipe to be completed by Aug. 30, followed by stream bank restoration and landscaping.

On Aug. 8, the county learned of the spill after being notified by the city of Atlanta about high bacteria counts in Nancy Creek. Due to the remote location and large search area, it took a team of four inspectors nine days to locate the source of the spill by analyzing water samples from the creek and nearby tributaries. Inspectors discovered that a 10-inch diameter pipe compromised by soil erosion caused the spill.

Caution signs will remain posted in the area and the county continues to warn residents to avoid the spill site.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.