Atlanta’s watershed department has several projects in the pipeline, including cleaning sewers and building new storage tanks, to reduce sewage spills near Atlanta Memorial Park.
“The City Department of Watershed Management is committed to eliminating wet-weather sewer overflows within Memorial Park and the Peachtree Creek Basin,” the city said in its presentation at a June 7 Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy meeting.
The projects are planned to improve flooding and overflows in the Peachtree Creek Basin, which covers the southern half of Buckhead.
A new phase a sewer cleaning began in May and is set to include clearing of debris from nearly 4,000 feet of the pipe. In May, the department cleaned nearly 900 feet and removed 146 tons of debris.
That phase is cleaning is set to be completed by the end of 2019 and is estimated to cost $36 million.
The sewer cleaning began in 2017 after several years of sewer spills that contaminated the playground and park. The cleaning was part of a plan that included relocating the playground to higher ground.
The plans include constructing a new 10-inch sewer main down Peachtree Battle Avenue, a street that was resurfaced six months ago, according to the Renew Atlanta bond website. It would include the closure of the eastbound lane.
Residents were dismayed the work couldn’t have been done concurrently, reducing the traffic delays. Mikita Brown, who gave the presenation, said the department tried to make the projects line up, but wasn’t able to.
“We had some false starts and just weren’t able to do it while it was being repaved,” she said.
A new eight-inch sewer main along Woodward Way is also planned and includes the construction of a new pump station near its intersection with Northside Drive.
The sewer would be constructed along Woodward Way on the west side of the park in an area where there have been repeat spills, according to the department. The new main is estimated to cost $8.6 million.
Those projects are planned to start in fall of this year and end in the spring of 2019.
A new storage tank and pump station is also planned just outside Buckhead and south of I-85. It is expected to eliminate sewer overflows across the entire Peachtree Creek basin up to during a 10-year storm. “We need added protection in the Peachtree Creek basin,” Brown said.
The department has completed the concept study and plans to begin design early next year. Construction is planned to start in 2020. The projects are budgeted at $108 million.
The sewer cleaning projects won’t have a direct effect on residents because most of that work is done underground, although staging will be done in the park. The department will let residents know of road closures well in advance, Brown said.
“We’re going to try not adversely impact you,” Brown said.
An added bonus to most work being done underground is that the work will not disturb park land, said Catherine Spillman, the executive director of the conservancy.
“One thing for people to understand is that there will be no land disturbance. I think we’re all sensitive to that,” she said.