Grease, disposable diapers, wipes to blame for recent DeKalb sewer spill

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DeKalb County Watershed crews began cleaning up a sewer spill in a Clarkston lake on Feb. 18 and are continuing remediation and restoration efforts.

The spill, at a lake on Cleavemark Drive, was caused by a blockage of grease, disposable diapers and wipes in an eight-inch sewer line. The blockage caused a 5,300-gallon sewage overflow from a manhole.

Watershed crews stopped the spill an hour after notification by pressure-washing the sewer line to remove the blockage and restore flow in the area.

Additionally, a pump was installed to aerate the lake and dead fish were removed.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Georgia Wildlife Resources Division were notified of the spill.

Representatives from DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Watershed Department attended a public meeting on Feb. 22 to respond to questions from Clarkston City officials and residents regarding immediate and long term public health concerns.

About 60 percent of sanitary sewer overflows in DeKalb  are caused by fats, oils and grease being poured down sink drains.

Residents and businesses can help keep fats, oils and grease out of the county’s pipes and sewers by:

  • Putting cooled fats, oils and grease into the trash;
  • Scraping food scraps from plates and cookware before washing; and
  • Wiping excess grease from all dishes with a paper towel before washing.

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