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Fayette officials hope water smell subsides after week of complaints

“This is lingering longer than I thought it would.” — Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott

Complaints from north Peachtree City, Tyrone and areas on the west side of Fayetteville over drinking water that looks and smells dirty have diminished but are still being reported after the problems were first reported a week ago. Water from Lake Horton in south Fayette is still being used in place of water from Lake Peachtree where the problem attributed to a reaction between chlorine and a change in water temperature occurred.

“This is lingering longer than I thought it would,” Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott said of the complaints that began surfacing approximately a week ago. He said the calls have diminished but are still coming in, adding that he hopes the situation will be resolved over the weekend. “The water is completely safe to drink.”

Fayette County Water System officials on Tuesday said complaints from residents in north and central Peachtree City about a peculiar odor and taste in their drinking water is not cause for alarm. The problem is being resolved and the water is safe to drink, officials said. And Parrott on Thursday confirmed that position.

“Upon receiving complaints, the water system immediately dispatched staff to investigate the situation,” Parrott said. “It was determined that the odor is due to a reaction from chlorine and the water from Lake Peachtree. The reaction was caused by a significant change in water temperature.”

The primary locations where the dirty, smelly water was being reported on Thursday included the north side of Peachtree City, the Tyrone area, the area in the vicinity of Lester Road and other areas on the west side of Fayetteville, Parrott said.

Parrott explained that because of the size of the water distribution system in the county totaling 650 miles of water lines, the problem with the water could remain for a few days until the water is flushed through the system.

The process of replacing the water in the system essentially involves two components. The primary component is by running water completely through the system through the thousands of end-use locations around the county. The secondary component is accomplished by flushing water hydrants that can disperse approximately 1,500 gallons per minute. In some cases, said Parrott, crews are letting the hydrants run for more than 30 minutes.

Parrott on Thursday said the water system continues to use water from Lake Horton rather than from Lake Peachtree.

Parrott said water system staff continue to work diligently to resolve the situation. He said residents in subdivisions still experiencing problems with their water should call the water system even if water crews have already been out to flush the lines on a previous occasion. Some of the factors that can prevent water being fully replaced, especially in clustered development such as subdivisions, include the size of the water line, the number of homes being served by that line or the amount of water usage.

“We won’t know there is still a problem unless people call us,” Parrott said.



"We won't know there is still a problem unless people call us".

So, if you don't get a call the problem doesn't exist, Tony?

Man, I'll sleep better tonite, with those comforting words.

suggarfoot's picture

and probably is. It is horrible and it is Sunday night and mine in no better than it was.

It's Sunday at 8:20pm and the water smell is worse! And the taste sucks. The west side if PTC has been effected by your lame excuse for almost 2 weeks.

And oh by the way...thanks for increasing the price of water and now I can't drink it because it stinks.
Maybe us citizens should revolt and not pay our next water bills since we can't use it! I have a motion on the I have a second? All those in favor say I..

LessThan3PTC's picture

I second your motion! This is absolutely ridiculous. The smell is worse today than it was yesterday, even after having the hydrant opened. Guess I have to call again tomorrow....

The water is still horrible in the Centennial subdivision.

G35 Dude's picture

It is 9:30 Sunday night and the water in the Lester Road area is still bad. I went out to eat with my daughter Friday night but instead of a PTC restaurant we went to Senoia so that I could get a decent glass of tea. This is beginning to get old.

Seems kind of ironic that the problem started following some hard rainstorms with the ground already saturated. Could it be that the runoff is now carrying pollutants, animal poop, dirt, oil, and gas right into our reservoirs?

Commission, your sleeping at the wheel if you don't investigate. This could be the right time to prove to the masses that stormwater is more than taxing pervious and impervious surfaces.

If my hypothesis is correct, this is your shot.

suggarfoot's picture

You are right, it taste like what has been running into the lakes because of the rains. It taste like dirt and poop. I don't think our taste buds are lying to us about what we are drinking.

It tastes like dirt and poop because that's what is getting in our reservoirs with the stormwater runoff. When the ground is saturated and can't take any more, the stuff (trash) does not get filtered thru the soil and just runs off properties and into our water system.

The commission would be foolish not to research this. It would prove their point once and for all that we have to do something.

I just watched a couple news reports from wsbtv. Their report stated that the recent rains resulted in water runoff that contained "organics" at the same time as the lake had some changes in water temperature. Sort of like a perfect storm.

When I researched further, "organics" are such things as animal waste, food waste, pesticides, herbicides, PCB's rodenticides, ect..

Not being an alarmist, because this is nothing new and our water treatment is typically good. But this is something we have to improve upon.

If our county commission was smart, they would use this as a great example to help show the need for a line item budget and possibly a tax to help alleviate the problem long term instead of floating the idea of the band aid splost

The smell and the taste is still terrible here in Cedarcroft as well. Something needs to be done!

suggarfoot's picture

That tells you something right there. I have normal dogs. I finally broke down and gave them bottled water too. They would look at the water and then look at me.

in the first place? I thought that Lake Peachtree was only used very rarely, as a backup to Lake Kedron. So why the need for Lake Peachtree in the first place? That lake is so shallow you could walk across it in places. No wonder there was a change in temperature if it was used recently.

Also, I wonder if any of this has to do with Lake McIntosh? Tony has some further 'splaining to do.

NUK_1's picture

I think it's cleaner than the crap coming out of the faucets and shower right now and it definitely smells better.

Nothing like that "crisp, clean feeling" of stepping out of the shower and smelling like you just rolled around a riverbank and are a 60's hippie.

Just watching's picture

The water in our lines is just as foul as it was 10 days ago. Just running the water, the smell is overwhelming. It is not drinkable and therefore, not safe to me. ! Come down to Tyrone and flush out our lines. Yeah, I know, you've already done that but tell you what, it hasn't helped.

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

PTC Observer's picture

How many out there have had a bad bout with this in the last 10 days?

Just an unscientific survey of the readership here.

You can count me as one.

LessThan3PTC's picture

I'll be very interested to see the responses to your post PTC Observer.

NUK_1's picture

Count me in the smelly bath club.


You are right. There is a direct correlation between rain and water quality. The water quality goes down following heavy rains. The heavier it gets the less quality water we receive.

This in turn causes gastro problems.

Now well into our second week with no appreciable change in taste or smell, FCWS.
Gingercake Road area still affected.


G35 Dude's picture

I think it's time for more answers than temperature change, be patient we're working hard, and we have to flush the lines. If it were a temperature change in one lake almost 2 weeks ago shouldn't it be cleared up by now? If the Fayette County Water Department can't handle this is there a way to get the State involved? Why isn't the Citizen investigating? Someone said in an earlier post that Steve Brown has some connection to the water department through the county commission? If so Mr Brown can you get us some answers? Or contact the state for help??

mudcat's picture

Watch our watchdog on WSB. He's da man. Hold Tony Parrot accountable? Maybe if you or I or Steve could actually understand what the redneck was saying, but not likely. A water manager that actually speaks Engish would be a huge improvement.

So then, can Mr. Chair actually talk directly to the Parrot or does have to go through the county manager? Inquiring minds want to know.

G35 Dude's picture

Apparently Steve Brown is the chair of the water commission. So you'd think he could do something. Even if that were just to offer a refund for providing a sub par product this month. If I bought a gallon of water from Publix and it were this bad they'd gladly give me my money back. But after reading his article in another part of the Citizen it appears that he chooses to parrot the company line rather than be a problem solver. I voted for him last time. Not sure I will again.

I think it is deserved.

sweetslice's picture

So that one lake with the temperature changes is also affecting down town Fayetteville? I wasn't aware we had our water piped in all the way from PTC.

This is their plan. We have a water hike, now we have to pay even more to get decent tasting water. I can't cook at home, wash veggies, brush teeth, anything without this horrible water. When is it safe to wash clothing? We've got several gallon battles of spring water in the basement we save for emergency, and it's now time to use it just to have a decent cup of coffee in the morning. How many units of water must we run through our lines and be billed for to finally get the decent stuff? I got chewed out by the spouse for using all the ice from the icemaker to chill food the other day. Dumb move on my part, but I guess Fayette County wants me to eat out every night in Coweta until the water is safe again. I'm all for the month of May water bill to be free since no one wants to use the water, nor pay for flushing out bad water.

Calling any phys/chem treated water "safe" is like watching the Man vs Wild dude drink his own wee. I mean, it *can* be done. For most of us, however, it isn't really an option.

The FayCo Water System should make public a full TCLP from a NELAP-certified lab from a sample of at least 32 ounces taken within the last week.

Having the guy who stars in American Hogger when he's not "running" a POTW say "it's safe, y'hare" isn't comfort enough for me. I'd like to see the data.

This afternoon I contacted a business aquantice I met last year at a class I took for NPDES certification. He is going to meet me at my home tomorrow evening to test the water that comes out the kitchen sink. Stay tuned.

Just watching's picture

Please post any information you may obtain. This is getting quite tiresome.

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

All due respect, but if municipal water failed to pass simple runoff standards, the evidence would be manifest in local emergency rooms. A full TCLP analytical from a NELAP-certified lab is needed. That is the standard across America.

Ted Jackson with Georgia EPD handles muni water. Perhaps it is time to bring this to the attention of an agency capable of issuing a consent order?

You are correct.

The guy I have coming over tonight is a private company that tests water based on EPD requirements. I met him at a continuing education class I was taking for NPDES certification.

He will be able to tell me what's going on.

The people that run the Water Authority can't live in Fayette County. The water tastes and smells like dirt. If they can't smell this in the filtration plant we have a real problem.It hasn't been hot, so I can't see how the water temperature can be anything but cold. I know we are lemmings but I think they can think of something other then the lip service we get for the money we pay.

Personally, I don't like higher taxes, but just maybe a controlled and well documented Splost as proposed by Commissioner Brown is what's needed (ie the stormwater program).

Remember, the county's E Splost was laid out in full detail to prevent waste (no pun intended). The same can be done on this Splost and remember it's temporary and based on consumption!

Otherwise, check out Watts Pumps, they make wonderful home water filtration systems. Their charcoal activated system is great, eliminates odors, and further cleans the water!

I am not against a splost if it takes care of a one time expense that must be completed and will reward us with long term gains.

The splost being presented is a temporary fix for those stormwater issues that are known and need to be addressed. What about the unknown piping problems and the ongoing maintenance?

I hate taxes, but this is one tax that is needed to keep our water clean. Do you think pinewood wants dirty water?

These rains we've had has demonstrated that our stormwater program is not working. We have excess organics (animal waste, pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fertilizer) that washed into our reservoirs. Now it may have been a perfect storm with the temperature changes in the water, but I don't buy this excuse. It's our rainwater and running over our grass carrying the organics, along with the dirt and debris runnin thru the storm water pipes.

Check out the posts about gastro problems. You think this only occurs in Mexico?

Our commissioners have a great tool to use to explain the problem. Hopefully, they don't fumble

NUK_1's picture

I don't think most herbicides, rodentcides and pesticides that are running off from anywhere are "organic."

This is not a new problem, we have had it before, not just to this level.
Problem is it will happen every time it rains, just a question of how much to run off in the reservoirs.

It's like a lot thing around here, for the sake of not raising taxes, many issues are ignored and/or avoided. Stormwater was ignored by the previous commissioners and,in PTC, maintenance to public assets was ignored.

The problem is further aggravated by the bomb throwers who offer no real solutions but call others who try to fix things TAX AND SPEND people.

Suggest raising taxes or issuing bonds and you are a TAX AND SPEND. Offer no solutions, just point fingers and you can get elected or re-elected. Except, 4 years ago when PTC had no other alternative except to raise taxes,face severe service cuts or face worse consequences. No one really talks about that and not sure citizens are aware how bad it was.

Hopefully, a new mayor and council will force a 5% budget cut from all departments and a moratorium on tax increases.

As for the county, I am impressed with Chairman Brown and Mr. Rapson for being proactive in cutting costs. Just look at the article on the county helicopter.

We need a little rallying in PTC to cut expenses, freeze taxes..not the current bomb throwing that's going on.

Well, as for stormwater, we all know it's an issue now, its STINKS!

Lets discuss the two issues you spoke about.

I commend the current commission for their trimming of costs for better efficiencies. It was desperately needed and we had to part ways with some of the good ole boys who had taken advantage of the system and their relationships. Kudos also for the way the sheriff is working with commission.

The commission inherited a lot of problems, we all know that. They seem to be trying, but I do not see any individuality that they promised. Every vote is in line with the chairman and though he seems to be doing a very good job working with the others, the others don't seem to have a mind of their own. There have been a good 10+ votes where one would have expected some type of dissent.

The county held three town hall meetings to discuss stormwater. They allowed people to speak and get things off their chests. But they came ill prepared with the knowledge to discuss the downside to the tax/fee initiated. The past storms proved the point. FC is not prepared to keep our water clean. Wait and see what happens this weekend when it rains again. Check and see how much overtime the water department spends to watch and react to a heavy storm after our lakes are full and the ground already saturated. Who will want to move here if we don't have clean drinking water?

PTC is a mess. The mayor and his scientific poll have to go. No I don't want a tax and spend council, but there are critical items that can no longer be ignored. We can reduce costs across the board, and use the funds for items that have been ignored. It will be interesting to see who brings what ideas to the table at the next budget session. I anticipate all will bring something, even you know who. After all this is an election year.

We can fix the traffic issues at 74/54. I believe the mayor is correct in pushing GDot for another interstate entrance south of 74 to take some of the Coweta traffic off of 74.

It is probably in the best interest of PTC to have a clean sweep of all council up for reelection. Hopefully we will see additional candidates announce their intent to run this summer.

Nuk, read this please.

FC needs to pay better attention

NUK_1's picture

It's a big problem and there are plenty of municipalities behind the curve on this, including ours.

That said, almost all herbicides, pesticides, etc are NOT in any way organic whatsoever unless you are a 100% organic farmer who doesn;t use commercial products. King County has no idea what they are talking about scientifically when they call these types of products "organic." They are not in any way organic whatsoever.

However, you see the general problem.

We are behind the 8 ball on this and the recent storms should teach us a valuable lesson.

If we don't start being more proactive like other Ga counties, it will be difficult to bring in new business if we can't supply clean drinking water.

Was that you I saw bathing in Lake McIntosh?

If you want an interesting experience, try talking to William McKinley about the problem! Mr Mckinley is the water manager over the Fayette water plant in Peachtree City. He does not have a clue what is going on and handed me off to one of his employees who was obviously very uncomfortable talking about what is going on!

My concern is that if the on-site manager does not know what the problem is and has no idea how he is going to do anything about it, then how does Tony Parrot know so much about the problem?

Smells like something besides just the water is fishy!

Call the TDK Water Plant and ask for the manager and tell me If I am exaggerating!

By the way, the water employee I talked to said that he did not know what kind of tests were being run on the water for taste and odor. He just said that they had "hoped" that the feeding of carbon would eliminate the problems, but it did not. he also could not tell me if the problem was coming from Lake Peachtree or Starr's Mill, but he was "pretty sure" it was one or the other because the water from Lake Horton was not getting any complaints at all.

In Spyglass. It is not fixed.

TinCan's picture

but expanding. My water has been good up until late afternoon today. Then the swamp rolled in. I live south of you toward the north end of Braelinn and we have been spared this crap from the beginning. I intended that figuratively, but wouldn't bet my last dollar.
In the just about 25 years I've been here nothing has come close to the stench and taste of this "stuff".

My, my. Look what Mr. Munford reported over 2 years ago.

Update here: Just checked the FC Water System Water Committee monthly meeting minutes dated 11-15-2012, and there is discussion for bids from 11 companies about the upcoming MIEX project. The final 2 paragraphs were:

"Mr. Jaeger stated that in reviewing all this, it is his recommendation that all 11 of these be prequalified to bid. We are still waiting for approval from the State on our submittal, once that happens, we will be ready to provide bid packages and set a bid date.

Mr. Parrott mad a motion to recommend these prequalified contractors to the Board of Commissioners for the upcoming MIEX project. Mr. Krakeel seconded and there was no opposition."

More WC meeting minutes dated 1-23-2013...III. MIEX UPDATE

"Mr. Jaeger explained that this project is to provide a treatment upgrade at both water plants, the Crosstown plant in PTC and the South Fayette plant. The purpose is to improve the removal of TOC (Total Organic Carbon), it is a process that goes in between the pumping of the raw water into the plant and the first stage of the plant, which is dosing of chemicals and settling out particles. MIEX stands for Magnetic Ion Exchange, a magnetically charged resin particle that is introduced into the raw water stream. The particle attracts dissolved organics with it. It happens prior to the water being dosed with chlorine. The action of dosing water with chlorine can produce what is called disinfection byproducts which are cancer precursors that can then be distributed out into the system. Number one, we are removing the organic carbon and number two we are reducing the potential for disinfection byproducts by having this process.

Mr. Jaeger went on to say that we went through an extensive pilot study at the plant, comparing this with other technologies and we arrived at this as the most effective and cost effective over the long run. He said we have submitted to the state, we got state approval on the drawings, we have gone through the RFQ process, and Mallett Consulting handled advertising the RFQ. Qualification statements were submitted; they were reviewed and 11 contractors were approved as pre-qualified bidders. That was run through the Water Committee; the Water Committee made a recommendation to the Board and the Board approved the pre-qualified bidders.

Mr. Jaeger stated that the Water System has 9 million dollars budgeted, and a bond issue is already in place. Mr. Parrott stated that the next thing the Board will see is the low bidder for the project. We had to get approval through the DNR for the process.

Mr. Jaeger stated that the bid package will be issued later this week to the pre-qualified bidders. The bid opening date is set for Feb. 26. The contractors are not obligated to bid, but they are pre-qualified to bid. There is no requirement to be a mandatory bidder. Mr. Jaeger stated that he has communications with the contractors and he will have a feel for how many will bid rather quickly. Mr. Rapson suggested including Ted Burgess in Purchasing in this bid opening."

Anyone know why the Feb. Water Committee meeting minutes (the next meeting) are missing from the county website????

The 3-27-2013 WC meeting minutes have another update IV. MIEX UPDATE

Too lengthy to list here on the update, but now WASA is in on this, having to do with a report on having to dilute the brine waste stream to bring the concentration down, particularly for COD, which is chemical oxygen demand, copper and lead, before it can be discharged into the WASA system.

Oh brother.

The 4-24-2013 WC meeting minutes have yet another update III. MIEX UDPATE

Again, too lengthy to list...more meetings with WASA regarding the acceptance of the brine waste stream that comes from the MIEX process. Storing the brine at South Fayette instead of Crosstown during times of peak production and feeding it to WASA at a rate that is acceptable to them during non-peak production times....Mr. Parrott is finished with the review and will send to the State as an amendment to the original permitted set of drawings. Once OK from the State, they will set a new bid date and get the bidders to submit their bids....

The last WC meeting was May 8th, no minutes approved yet on FC web site. Anyone know the outcome there?

Yes, I'll take a whack at saying there is more going on than what we have been told so far.

And on and on and on...nytol....

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