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Days of stinky water ending?

Calls about stinky drinking water from areas of Fayette County have diminished significantly and there is a noticeable improvement in the condition of the water, according to Fayette County officials.

Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson on Tuesday said there is a noticeable improvement in the condition of the water. Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown also weighed in, saying the number of calls about foul smelling and tasting water have diminished significantly.

Rapson said the current belief is that the source of the problem was likely the Starr’s Mill Pond (sometimes called the lagoon) associated with the Crosstown Treatment Plant (WTP) and not the Lake Peachtree reservoir.

Fayette County officials last week brought in consultant CH2M HILL, the Ga. Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) working in conjunction with the Fayette County Water system, to solve the problem.

Rapson said CH2M HILL Regional Technology Manager Stuart Jeffcoat recommended the measures that either have been implemented or are being implemented. Those measures include:

• Continue use of only Lake Peachtree as the primary source for the Crosstown WTP

• No longer use the raw water stored in the reservoir at the Crosstown WTP and obtain a temporary permit from EPD to discharge the contents of this reservoir to begin to re-fill it from Lake Peachtree and/or Lake Horton.

• Continue draining the 4 million gallon clearwell (that holds potable water) at the Crosstown WTP to begin to filling the clearwell with “good” water and the try to use all of the “bad” water in the 2 million gallon clearwell for filter backwashes so the clearwell can be refilled with “good” water

• Eliminate the recycle of decant water (water separated from sludge) from the backwash water lagoon at the WTP

• Continue flushing in areas of the distribution system with foul water to expedite the purging of the overall distribution system

• Continue feeding of higher dosages of powdered activated carbon prior to the filters to adsorb taste and odor causing compounds from the water prior to distribution

• Sampling of Lake Peachtree, Lake Horton, Starr’s Mill Pond, Lake McIntosh, and the raw water storage reservoir at the WTP to identify significant algal blooms to take place mid-week of this week

Rapson was asked whether the problems with Fayette’s drinking water might have a negative economic impact or negatively influence potential business prospects affiliated with the movie and television industry. Rapson said he doubted that such would be the case.

“There is the concern that being branded as having ‘stinky water’ could impact economic development. However, we believe that this was an isolated occurrence in regards to the severity of the taste and odor issues that we have experienced over the past several weeks. All water systems must combat taste and odor issues seasonally, so this is not unique to Fayette County. However, the severity of this particular occurrence has heightened our awareness of the need to implement specific treatment process modifications to mitigate the future occurrence of taste and odor episodes of this magnitude,” Rapson said.

“We are working in partnership with the state regulatory agency and a nationally recognized engineering firm to help us improve our treatment process at the Crosstown WTP. We are identifying operational actions that will prevent future taste and odor episodes so there will not be any future economic ramifications, so Fayette County will not be known as having ‘stinky water’ moving forward,” Rapson said.

The resolution to the weeks-long problem is said to be in the process of being accomplished with the implementation of a number of measures designed to eliminate the dirty tasting and smelling drinking water and to prevent a reoccurrence.

Complaints from portions of Peachtree City, Tyrone and the Fayetteville area began coming in nearly three weeks ago in response to finding what was described as “pond water” flowing from faucets in homes and businesses. The Fayette County Water System responded to the complaints, blaming a combination of temperature changes in Lake Peachtree combined with heavy rains and the growth of algae.



and I stand by my previous posts. This whole incident was caused by a known issue that has been puttered around on for over 4 years by the EPD and the water dept. Look at the FC Water Committee meeting minutes and you will see the MIEX treatment system notes.

Rapson says above, "We are working in partnership with the state regulatory agancy and a nationally recognized engineering firm to help us improve our treatment process at the Crosstown WTP. We are identifying operational actions that will prevent future taste and odor episodes so there will not be any future economic ramifications...".

Too little, too late. Notice the excuses have gone from the recent rainfall to Lake Peachtree and now to "the current belief that the source of the problem is Starrs Mill Pond".

So, what will the reason be next week? Fishermen peeing in Lake Horton? Golf balls flying into Lake Mac from Planterra retirees?

Rapson inherited and has taken over answering this issue. I say the urgency of this treatment issue has been grossly underestimated and the current leadership at the water dept. should be held accountable. Gov. Deal should also require a review of what role the EPD and ultimately the DNR had in all of this.

Moe on Rapson--- I agree but you have to give that rascal credit. What great spin he's putting out. Obama, Hilary and Ambassador Rice would be proud.

NUK_1's picture

He inherited the mess and has been county mgr for a few months. Tony Parrot has been there forever at the Water system and is ingrained into the political system every bit as much as the FC tax commissioner George Wingo, who is every bit as incompetent and damn stupid.

It takes some time and heavy lifting to get rid of these people and I have faith that Rapson will make it happen. It just won't be overnight.

Steve Brown's picture

The Fayette County government owes a huge debt of gratitude to the GA EPD officials who came to Peachtree City and assisted us with getting the system back upright. Their leadership was outstanding.

We are getting good feedback from water customers now. If for any reason you are still experiencing water with odor or taste, please notify the Water System at 770.461.1146.

does that go for the water dept., also?

Silence speaks volumes sometimes.

Yeah, they came in and discovered that your water manager was completely incompetent. Something that everybody in the Water Department already knew. But I guess that's ok because "Quality is a Lifestyle" in Fayette County.

Fayettehuntman---- I totally agree. Georgia EPD just comes in with their "wink-wink" whitewash and then heads out for a plate of barbecue. Funny how Brown griped about PhotoCircuits environmental problems and now he couldn't care less.

We love it Steve-----"Can't smell it from my house !!!"

Gilly Walker's picture

And we live near the Commish....

That's All.

My water still stinks and HAS NOT GOTTEN ANY BETTER!
Funny thing is I have been dealing with the foul odor since last year. I called the Fayette County Water Dept. and was told that they would send someone out to test the water.

They claimed that they did (although NO documentation was left to confirm that someone came out) and then called me to give me the results. The female representative told me that the water was "fine" even though the PH was "a little on the high end".

I decided to replace sinks and piping only to now have the same stinky smell reoccur.

The citizens deserve truthful answers and not the standard "let's pacify the masses so there is no uprising" b.s.

Braveswin's picture

>> Rapson was asked whether the problems with Fayette’s drinking water might have a negative economic impact or negatively influence potential business prospects affiliated with the movie and television industry. Rapson said he doubted that such would be the case.

Of course not, Hollywood types all drink bottled water...you know that.

The water in wynnmeade still stinks and taste as bad as when this mess started. We are at the end of the line, and it needs more flushing. The added expense of buying water to drink, and cook with is bad.

Water is a little better but still stinks, thought the water line break on Dividend Wednsday would help but guess not

I complained loudly on here, I thought i at least should say when it seemed better.

Too bad our water department seemed clueless on this.

Here are the Agenda for the Water Committee Meeting on the same day that this article was published. Not very impressive. (It is published on the Fayette County Website)

Water Committee
, 201
8:00 A.M.
Call to Order
Vice Chairman Chip Conner
made the motion and
Tony Parrott
seconded, to
approve the minutes from the meeting on
May 8
, 20
. T
here was no opposition.
No Action Taken
No Action Taken.
No Action Taken.
There being no further business, the Water Committee was adjourned at
Lisa Speegle
Water Committee Clerk

Don't know if its lack of documentation, lackadaisical attitudes, or poor management. Probably a combination.

I said it before on the blogs, the county documentation is poor, even county commission meeting minutes are poorly written.

Would expect to see discussions on projects, budget, manpower, potential problems, EPA/EPD updates, ect... Seems management and the board thought everything was hunky dory.

Waiting to see the reports showing millions in maintenance needed and the need to hire qualified people to run certain operations. This will likely be a doozy from what I have read and been told.

I don't believe fault falls on current commission, but they need to set standards for all meetings and meeting minutes. Perhaps Mr. Brown is taking on too much on his own and he needs to delegate to the others, but to be honest, none of the others are strong enough managers.

By May 22nd, the sludge had hit the proverbial fan with the water.

I sure would like to hear the audio from that meeting. It doesn't take 30 minutes to take no action on 4 items. I think I will call Ms. Speegle and get them.

The June 12th meeting was cancelled. Let's see what happens on June 26th.

Did you read the May 8th minutes they approved? Read up on MIEX. The beginning of the stinky water, right there.

There is another problem there that has not been reported publicly yet, either.

I haven't been able to figure this out. Appears to be waste from a process machine.

Why hasn't the May 22nd minutes been published? It's been 3 weeks of transparency.

If I understand correctly, the minutes are approved at the next scheduled meeting. That would have been the June 12th meeting, which was cancelled.

If they show up on the next scheduled meeting date of June 26th and have a quorum, the May 22nd minutes should be approved then.

I don't think there will ba a lot said/done. This should now be at management and BOC level. We shall see.

MIEX, above my pay grade level. Only what I have googled. Start with this this below:


I think you are close on the waste.

It should mean My Incompetent Employees are getting AXED.


Maintenance Is non-EXistent.

or how about

Management Is EX...or soon to be EX

or any combo of the above.

So, in the middle of a crisis, they cancel a meeting? Is that because they were not prepared for transparency? Maybe they don't think the public needs to know anything until after the inspectors final report? Maybe Steve squared who were both at the meeting on the 8th are embarrassed when SR praised the group?

The minutes are a complete joke and failing to hold the scheduled meeting during the crisis is telling. This wouldn't fly in the corporate world.

PTC Observer's picture

Well this is welcome news, it must have been all that rain we just got. Wait a minute, wasn't that what cause it?

What exactly does this mean?

"The resolution to the weeks-long problem is said to be in the process of being accomplished with the implementation of a number of measures designed to eliminate the dirty tasting and smelling drinking water and to prevent a reoccurrence."

Did they actually spent $300K without us knowing about it? Guess not. I suppose it falls under the category that if the citizens complaint too much threaten them with another tax. That will get them to shut up.

I don't know about you, but seems to me we are being taken for fools.

Does anybody have any new information?
My water contact does not want to comment until after the inspection taking place this week. He only said that management is to blame but that Tony will always try to blame the operators for all problems; even when their suggestions are completely ignored. He is afraid that no real changes are in the works.

My neighbor had it last night at 7PM and I have it now.

Did not have the stinky water problem last month, but now have BROWN water coming out of faucets.

WTF is going on, Tony Parrott????

Do NOT drink your water!

We woke up to Brown water yesterday, not as bad this morning but still, what the hell is going on. When I called yesterday the Lady said that so far I was the only one that had called. The only way to get these problems fixed is Public Pressure, that means phone calls people!

Don Haddix's picture

I have received reports of brown water from the Loghouse area for two days now.

At my house we had discoloration yesterday.

I have heard second hand info from other areas of PTC.

So, there are reports from the southside of PTC right by City Hall.

One person who called the water dept noted they said they are having problems.

That is the info I have at this time.

<strong><em>Peachtree City Mayor</em></strong>

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

NUK_1's picture

You know, the guy who fearlessly claimed that "heads were going to roll" at the FC Water Dept after the last idiotic fiasco?

tortugaocho's picture

Get Weed in there with Rapson and Brown and then we got a hat trick.

"Heads are gonna roll"--- laughed when I heard that one.

This stuff happens day and day out. You only realize once in a while with bad water. "Oh yeah its just a musky smell." No thanks !

NUK_1's picture

Brown, Rapson, And Weed Now! And don't forget those glorious campaign signs for Murray Weed that said "Win with Weed" that he was supposedly flabbergasted that some might think that was a marijuana reference somehow. Hilarious! Maybe Horgan should have borrowed those signs in his last race.

Steve Brown's picture

From Tony V. Parrott, Director of the Water System:

"The operators at the South Fayette Water Plant experienced a problem with treating the manganese that is in the raw water. I had the plant quit pumping until the problem is solved. An overreaction I take full responsibility for. Mr. Stevens tells me that the finished water levels of manganese did not exceed the standard. The water has a dingy look in some areas and I have staff flushing. Since we are not pumping from the water plant, the problem will not get any worse."

Mayor Haddix, you have my cell phone number if you have any questions.

PTC Observer's picture

seems to happen more and more often, doesn't Mr. Brown?

I can't recall surrounding areas having similar "situations".

How about a three strikes rule?

You have had the plant quit pumping until the problem is solved. So, how are you going to notify us the problem is solved? How about notifying us there IS A PROBLEM in the first place?

This "I take full responsibility" is getting old. Why call out one of your employees publicly if you take full responsibility? How about we already KNOW this is your responsibility, Tony? What does that mean to YOU, Tony?

The problem will not get any worse? Gee, that's comforting. Unless an odor is added, I cannot imagine it getting any worse than the brown color (not dingy, not off-color, but brown) that I experienced until about an hour and a half ago after flushing all my faucets and hot water tank after being notified that the water dept. flushed hydrants in my area after filing a complaint this morning.

Don Haddix's picture

No questions. I became aware there is a problem, it is being worked on and I advised Staff.

Here I was just advising my constituents, as is part of my job.

In the future, when there are such issues, it would be a good idea to advise the City Manager and myself of the situation, when it becomes known. That makes life easier on all of us when the questions and reports start coming in.

That did not occur here.


<strong><em>Peachtree City Mayor</em></strong>

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Steve Brown's picture

You are exactly correct that we should have notified Peachtree City officials. Unfortunately, our Water System Director did not see fit to contact the Board of Commissioners and inform us that we were having a problem. Please accept our apology.

I am embarrassed to say that I learned about the situation from your blog post and immediately made some phone calls. Needless to say, my board is very angry.

Don Haddix's picture

That is an unfortunate occurrence and I fully understand the Commission's feelings.

<strong><em>Peachtree City Mayor</em></strong>

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Robert W. Morgan's picture

An angry Board led by an embarrassed Brown can only mean one thing - heads will roll.

Live free or die!

How many times can one embarrass Mr. Brown before he has had enough. A simple phone call to Rapson explaining the problem first thing would have put the issue at rest. The guy will never learn. Think its time for Parrot to head to Margaritaville.

Hey Bob: Brown seems to be softening up with age.

I live off of Wisdom Road and woke up to not having any water at all! When I called the Fayette County Water Dept. this morning, I was told that the crews were out fixing something in the area and "did not think that they would affect the surrounding subdivisions until they realized that they were wrong".

It appears that incompetence abounds at the Fayette County Water Dept. from top to bottom.

Mr. Parrot,

When and how much of a reduction on my next month's bill should I expect? More importantly, when should we expect your resignation? The health and well being are jeopardized by your continued leadership.

Maybe it's time for someone to contact the EPA...again.

Just found out that the manager of the water plant on TDK Blvd was fired last Friday, Aug 2.
Word is that Tony is trying to blame him for the problems that the water dept has been having, but the employee I talked to said that even though the manager needed to be terminated, that he had NOTHING to do with most of the screw-ups in the water department. And that almost all of the stupid decisions are because of upper management, because they knew the manager of the water plant was too incompetent to trust handling any real problems, so Tony was calling the shots the whole time.
The state inspectors have made a list of all the problems they found with Fayette's water dept. The public needs access to that list. What has been going on and why!?
The water employees are saying that the problems are bad and that there are a lot of them!
Let us see the list!

Did anyone read the article in the other Fayette paper where David Barlow went on a tirade defending Tony Parrot? Very interesting development. Hard to tell where this is all heading. Seems Tony may be able to survive yet another set of commissioners. Wonder how he does it?

If he is defending him like you say, my first question based on Barlow's history would be, do they pray at the same church?

Barlow also said that "the CH2MHILL consultant said he was "amazed" at what we are doing"!!!

I bet he is!!!!! but not in a positive way!!!

Check out todays Citizen headline.

Barlow said "When you realize that the county loses some 50 points from the overall survey because the inspector does not like the way the grass was mowed at the facilities, then you understand the score, If you add back in those points, then the county system is back up in the Outstanding Performance level."

What!!?? Grass!!!??? Where is Barlow getting his mindset? If he really said that---he is an idiot and should resign from his post.

Maybe Barlow should read the inspectors report before he runs off at the mouth!!!

If things are so great, why did they fire the Water Plant Manager (Bill McKinley) and why are the inspectors filing "a formal complaint to the Georgia Secretary of State to investigate the actions of Tony Parrot" ---because he "may have practiced fraud or deception; that reasonable care, judgement, or the application of their knowledge or ability was not used in performance of their duties; or that they are incompetent or unable to perform their duties properly"

Barlow said he toured the facilities (WITH Tony Parrot) and spoke to the employees. He said :"There was no animosity amongst the employees, they are happy with the working atmosphere and management"


Why are the employees (at least the two who have previously spoken with me) afraid to talk to me anymore because they believe Tony will retaliate against those who are negative toward him and do not wish to be quoted anymore? They told me earlier that NO employees were happy with Tony and that he should have been replaced many years ago because there is no over-sight over him and he does whatever he wants to, including hiring and keeping a plant manager for over 4 years that had no experience in water and was completely clueless to run the water plants---Well, listening to Barlow, Tony seems he may still have no real over-sight in the world of water!!!!
Barlow talked about "Tony Parrot's long history of excellent work with the county water system" ??????
local politics and politicians are strange in Fayette County---hard to understand who they are serving---- and why-----

You appear to have a better pulse of the employees than I do. I can just go by what I read and my intuition (which I may add is pretty good).

When we started at the first of the year discussing the county's stormwater fee and the county held the first town hall meeting, I knew that we had amateurs at the helm. Stormwater and the federal clean water act is more than fixing a few rusting pipes, pervious, and impervious surfaces.

Then we had the inversion scare. But it wasn't inversion, we had 10 year old sludge that had hardened like concrete.

Still just a few weeks later we have another problem with high manganese levels in the raw water supply.

Both problems could not be solved in house after much cost and a consultant was needed for both. Consultants can be utilized in a positive manner if you hire the right ones. You can find any cya consultant who can spend all our money or find good ones that have an understanding of the requirements and can work within budgets or plan accordingly for upcoming projects. The good companies I have worked with all had consultants come in and help with another set of eyes each year before small problems became big.

If Mr. Barlow discounted the inspectors report, he most likely did so because Tony is in his ear, trying to minimize the problems. Any stooge also knows that the employees are scared about their jobs and will say what they expect Barlow wants to hear. To the public, the firing of the one employee is nothing but using them as a scapegoat.

I don't want to read another letter in my bill telling me everything is ok. I want a copy of he consultant reports and a copy of the states inspection report.

I also took a look at the water depts. meeting minutes for the past few years. Its a crying shame anyone calls them meeting minutes. Whoever approved these minutes knows full well they state nothing of merit.

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