The 36-inch water line that broke early Tuesday morning, prompting a boil water advisory for residents of south Cobb, was identified as needing repairs or replacement before it failed, according to water authority officials.
Glenn Page, general manager of the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, said he briefed members of the board the day before the pipe failed on a May 21 report indicating the need for repairs.
Page said the pipe, near Maner and Plant Atkinson roads in the far eastern part of Cobb County, was buried in an area with particularly “corrosive soils.” He said there had been a history of leaks in the area, so the authority brought in a corrosion consultant.
“Their report indicated that corrosion was already significant on the pipe and that we needed to replace it imminently. We were working on that plan,” Page said.
Improvement plans included several options, and with requirements to bid the project out to contractors, necessary repairs were delayed, he said.
Page said a temporary repair is underway to about 70 feet of pipe, which has already been reconnected but still needs to be cleared and disinfected before water can run through. That should take about a week, he said. In the meantime, no one in the county is out of water or under a boil water advisory as a result of the line failure.
Page said a permanent fix — plan pending — is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $200,000, based on similar project costs in the past.
He said the county is also considering repairs to about 1,200 feet of pipe in the surrounding area.
“It’s a pipe route that ... has been in place for over 30 years,” he said. “Over that period of time, we’ve had a number of corrosion issues with the pipe, and this recent evaluation indicated we need to take a hard look at either getting the pipe out of that area or doing some additional protections of the pipe.”
Relocation or repair of the 1,200 feet of pipe could bring a price tag between $500,000 and $1 million, Page said.
Cobb County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the southern portion of the county, said while she was not affected by the line break, she received reports of discolored water, low pressure or no water from residents across south Cobb.
Tuesday’s line failure occurred at 4 a.m., and during repairs, crews were forced to shut off the water. Low water pressure to part of the Cobb County Water System resulted in the system issuing a boil water advisory for a section of the southern part of the county until testing could be completed.
Results of those tests, which were analyzed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, were returned Wednesday morning and prompted the water system to lift the advisory.
The Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority is a wholesaler that sells water to local governments, including Cobb County, to distribute.