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Although temperatures have risen about 20 degrees since Christmas Eve, the thermometer is still below freezing Christmas night, and people around the county are reporting low or no water pressure.

A Clayton County Water Authority employee told The Clayton Crescent that the outages “mainly are affecting the northern part of the county.”

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, CCWA issued a social media announcement that people in Forest Park “may be experiencing reduced water pressure.” A reader near Forest Park Middle School told The Clayton Crescent their water is out, while residents near the Ash Street School were dealing with low water pressure.

CCWA said it had expected “water pressure in the area to return to normal within the next hour.” But at that time, CCWA noted, “This outage may affect other areas of the county. Our staff is currently working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

The City of Forest Park issued a press release, noting the city “is aware of ongoing water issues impacting several cities throughout Clayton County. Reports of low to nonexistent water pressure have been made over the past few days. The city is in constant communication with the Clayton County Water Authority and is working diligently to get the situation resolved.” The city says residents should call CCWA at (770) 302-3443 to report any water problems.

Other reported water outages include:

  • Spring Lake (back on at 8:55 p.m.; had been out since 2 p.m. December 24)
  • Gardens at Park West
  • Meadow View
  • East Street
  • parts of Ellenwood, Lake City, and Morrow

Nearby in East Point, city officials said a broken water main meant low pressure for Elizabeth Lane, Dorsey Avenue, East Point Street, Walker Avenue, and Egan Park Christmas evening. On Christmas Eve, the city had to bring out water tanks for residents at the Garden Court Apartments “due to a damaged backflow device caused by the freezing temperatures.”

What to do?

The extended subfreezing temperatures have burst some people’s pipes. To avoid this problem, turn on the cold water handle in one sink of your house, then turn it almost all the way down until a stream the thickness of a pencil lead drips from the faucet. By keeping the water moving through your pipes, you prevent it from freezing and then bursting the pipe from the inside out.

If you have an outside faucet, you can drip it or cover it with pipe insulation, a faucet cover, or an old towel wrapped around the faucet and standing pipe. Use duct tape to wrap the towel thickly around the faucet and pipe.

If your pipe already has burst, find the cutoff valve and turn off the water to your home, then call a plumber. If you see a large frozen puddle in your yard or driveway, you’ve probably got a broken pipe underground and will need a professional plumber’s help. Homeowners are responsible for pipes between the water meter and their house. If you rent, contact your landlord or property manager immediately if you see any signs of burst pipes and turn off the cutoff valve to your apartment or house if possible. Place a bucket under any leak inside your home.

If you see a large frozen puddle or new pothole in the street, it’s likely the county’s water line that has broken. Contact CCWA with the closest address to where the leak is.

If you still have water, store some in gallon jugs in case of an outage so that you can brush your teeth, cook, and wash dishes.

We’ll update with more information as it becomes available.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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