Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016    Login | Register        

County working to restart water plant

The South Fayette water treatment plant was offline for a third day Friday as a consultant evaluates the treatment processes there, working on a solution to counteract high manganese levels in the raw water supply, according to Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown.

Meanwhile, the consulting firm of CH2M Hill was also working to have raw water pumped into the Crosstown water treatment plant from the new Lake McIntosh reservoir as its manganese levels were lower than the county’s other raw water sources.

High manganese is blamed for a murky-colored water that is otherwise safe to drink, said Water System Director Tony Parrott.

Brown said CH2M Hill’s Stuart Jeffcoat is already “making significant progress” on the issue including adjustments to some of the equipment at the South Fayette treatment plant.

“He is reporting that everything they are doing seems to be having a positive impact and they hope to have the south plant back online in the short term and prevent Crosstown from having to be cut off,” Brown said late Friday morning.

Jeffcoat was called in following an emergency meeting of the Fayette County Commission Wednesday afternoon to authorize a $10,000 addendum to CH2M Hill’s consulting contract in reviewing the water system that dates back to the odor and taste problems that plagued the system for several weeks early this summer.

Based on CH2M Hill’s analysis of the water treatment process at both plants from the taste and odor problems, the county is facing a need to purchase new equipment, upgrade other equipment and make maintenance changes, Brown said.

“The sad part about it is we have quite a bit of work ahead of us and quite a bit of expense too,” Brown said.

The county is awaiting the final results from a sanitary survey conducted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division a short time after the odor and taste problems. Those problems were ultimately attributed to high levels of organic carbon in raw water pumped from Starr’s Mill Pond in addition to problems with the treatment process at the Crosstown water treatment plant that have since been corrected.

While some irate citizens have called for “heads to roll” over the water problems, Brown said the time to evaluate such matters will come in the near future once the final sanitary survey comes in, along with other analytical takes on the health of the water treatment system.

“It may seem like we’re sitting on our hands, but we are ramping up to do some things,” Brown said.

Brown said he is not aware what has caused the spike in manganese levels in the raw water supply, but it’s possible the recent heavy rains caused pollution from chemicals such as fertilizer to have had an impact.



Appreciate you getting the word out on this. I was also checking on the county website.

CH2M Hill will find numerous deficiencies in both our existing processes, equipment and maintenance. In addition, the last sentence is extremely telling and one that I have been preaching for the past few months. Our stormwater system is not adequate to maintain clean water.

I didn't go to any of the town hall meetings after reading about the first one. The good people of the community just don't get it. The problems are not about pervious and impervious surfaces. Its much deeper.

I think you are going to discover that we have some serious issues here. I hope all this comes to light before the Nov election. Stormwater and our water system has been neglected for years. I think a splost to put a band aid on a knife wound is silly and think that the best way to deal with this is to pull the splost from the ballot and have commission come up with a better tax plan that encompasses all issues related to providing us clean water. I trust you and the fellow commissioners are up for the challenge.

cogitoergofay's picture

H&F Correct: "Stormwater and our water system has been neglected for years."

I think Dennis Chase is distracting us from the big issue. And that very clearly is a neglect around Atlanta on the increasing issue of stormwater. It has been ignored. And why should we care about stormwater runoff? We have just learned why--- because it affects our DRINKING WATER.

PTC Observer's picture

Point us to any links on like kind problems in surrounding counties please.

I just can't seem to find any.

Where has stormwater runoff proven to be the source of high levels of Magnesium, in the Atlanta area?

Steve Brown's picture

I hand delivered the engineers assessment of the dam projects in the Core Infrastructure SPLOST to the newspapers.

The new information should also be on the county's web site.

It's the year of county water agony. Can't something be done???

Todays paper says the state wants to probe our water system for fraud and or incompetence and you want to wait for Rapson to return from vacation before you do anything? Put your big boy pants on and do something. Tell Rap to get into his county car and drive back.

If any of the report is accurae, I think you as chairman for the county, need to bring Parrott and the Water Committee into a room and ask for their resignations immediately.

If this is how the county manages our utilities, I say Good Luck with the splost.

SPQR's picture

Re: today's Citizen article on the water dept.

on the bad scale this is about an 8 or 9 if not a 10. These people need to be replaced with competent personal yesterday. This is a public health issue and if the county cannot demonstrate an ability to address the problem the state needs to step in NOW.

Ad space area 4 internal