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County hires consultant to fix water problem

Spiked levels of manganese in treated water have forced the shutdown of the South Fayette Water Treatment Plant, and this morning the manganese levels were higher as well at the county’s only other water treatment plant, the Crosstown facility in Peachtree City.

At an emergency meeting today, the Fayette County Commission voted to spend $10,000 to have a consulting firm work on remedies to the issue so the South Fayette plant can begin to produce water again. The firm, CH2M Hill Engineers, is familiar with the water system having worked on fixing the smelly water issues that plagued the county for several weeks earlier this summer.

Water System Director Tony Parrott said the high levels of manganese in the water system cause the water to look murky, but it is safe to drink.

Commission Chairman Steve Brown said after the meeting that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has traced the higher levels of manganese to Lake Kedron, one of the county’s four reservoirs.

Brown during the brief commission meeting expressed disdain that the commission was not notified of the shutdown of water production at the South Fayette plant or the water main break Tuesday in the area of Golfview Drive in Peachtree City.

Brown has said he and his fellow board members are angry about the lack of notification, and the county may be in trouble with EPD for failing to notify the agency about the water main break.

The South Fayette water treatment plant is located near Lake Horton.



The guy at the water dept can screw up over and over and still walks out of every meeting with his job. Mr. Brown, at this point stop the being mad charade and tell us all why we don't have a new leader at the water Dept.

Release the state report and tell us how much the water splost is going to cost us.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Mad dog type mad. Tony V. embarrassed Brown and angered his Board.No recovery from that. Tony be toast.

Oddest thing is that it is just going to be about communicating to the Board - not about the quality of water.
It is not the crime that gets you, but instead the coverup.
Wait and see.

Live free or die!

Chicken Little keeps saying how mad he is but does nothing but walk into a meeting and tells everyone that "his board" is authorizing another $10k to pay for another consulting gig to get us out of this mess.

Tony has nine plus lives.

I know it's hard to get rid of a govt employee, but lets be real. Brown is not stupid. He knows what it will take to fire someone. He's probably just mad that Mayor Haddix made him look bad by responding yesterday before he even had a clue something wasn't right.

rolling stone's picture

The mayor and the chairman communicating via The Citizen blogs.

tortugaocho's picture

Parrott is safe because he learned to habitually say the two words that Scott Bennett could not: "Yes, massah..."

tortugaocho's picture

Why not take bids ? This is a very bad habit that PTC has fallen victim to over decades---- negotiating a contract with one firm rather than requesting bids and saving at least 20% because the bids are usually sealed. This is stupid.

To save money, there has to be a clear scope of work. To do this, one must first put the bid package together. This can take a lot of time, especially when you are dealing with a lot of information.

Not sure what the consultant will do other than find remedies. Based on the this and the cost of the contract, this would be about a 10 day project.

Imagine how many days it would take to write the RFP, put it out to bid, review, approve, and then issue a PO. Time is money.

I think $10K is fair in this case.

<strong>"This is a very bad habit that PTC has fallen victim to over decades"</strong>
I believe this article is about the Fayette County Water Dept., we don't have one in PTC. Might I refer you to the Evaleen Woodhead Speed reading and Comprehension course. :)

Steve Brown's picture

I agree with the need to bid. Unfortunately, we rapidly got to the point where time to wait on bids was not an option. To let you know, we are using the same negotiated fee with the firm that we had last time. The $10,000 is a "not to exceed" figure.

We currently have a bid out for professional engineering services for the Water System, something that has not been bid for over three decades.

PTC Observer's picture

When you don't know what to do, hire a consultant. The consultant not hampered by reality will recommend that we spend millions to solve the problem. We won't do that and because we won't do that, you can point to that fact as a reason we have a problem. You get to keep your job and the consultant gets to keep his because no one can prove him wrong, or you either.

Masterful as the Artful Dodger but not leadership.

No, Mr. Brown, when you have someone that can't manage their job, you get rid of them and find someone that can do the job. That's leadership. Give the guy one more chance, and if he screws it up again get rid of him and find someone that can do the job.

I guess you have never run a business?

What exactly does "high" mean? I googled "high levels of manganese in drinking water" and did not find one article that said it is "safe". Is the water treatment director being vague intentionally?

The water at our house was downright brown last weekend. I called the water department and was told, "Maybe they are working somewhere out there. We'll flush your line." Either A. The man that answered my call didn't know about the problem at the treatment facility or B. We'll flush the line is the answer I was given to get me off the phone. Our water has been tan all week since.

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