DeKalb, notorious for sewer spills, awarded for preventing sewer spills

Jan 10, 2020


Millions of gallons of sewage flowing into local waterways didn’t stop DeKalb County from winning an award for preventing sewer spills.

Even DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond admitted the news might seem unusual.

The county received the 2019 FOG Program of the Year award from the Southeastern FOG Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that works to reduce harmful sewer spills, according to a news release Monday. “FOG” stands for “fats, oils and grease,” all nasty things that can clog up drains and water lines, leading to sewer spills. DeKalb received the award for its “No FOG, No Clog” educational program, which educates residents and students on the importance of keeping harmful substances out of the sewer system.

“This contradicts or at least creates a different narrative for our county,” Thurmond said in an interview Wednesday. “That’s why it’s news. DeKalb has had its very problematic history.” Thurmond said that was a result of “decades of neglect and mismanagement.”

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