County says water still safe to drink after South Cobb WRF failure

Nickajack Creek in video update water reclamation facility(photo by Larry Felton Johnson)Nickajack Creek (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

In a news release yesterday Cobb County announced that despite the failure at the South Cobb WRF (water treatment facility) at Nickajack Creek, tap water from Cobb’s water system is still safe to drink.

[Correction: The original lede incorrectly identified the facility as the South Cobb Water Treatment Center.  As inadvertently funny as the initials South Cobb WTF might have been to readers, I apologize for the error]

“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,” according to the release.

As of the time of the county’s last announcement crews were working to install pumps, but had not gotten the system back online. The state Environmental Protection Division is working with the county to investigate the cause of the failure.

“We take any environmental impact caused by this incident very seriously,” said Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce for the news release. “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 press release stated.

The South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility

According to the Cobb County website, “South Cobb WRF is one of the four water reclamation facilities of the Cobb County Water System. At this facility, we process daily at a capacity of 40 million gallons of wastewater generated by the South Cobb, portions of West Cobb, Austell, Powder Springs and Mableton areas. We strive our best to treat wastewater while meeting all treatment compliance.”

Location of the South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility

The South Cobb WRF is located on Rowland Road near the Chattahoochee River.  See the google map below for more detail on the location.