Boil-water advisory lifted in Atlanta after water system problems

ATLANTA (AP) — Residents in Atlanta no longer must boil water before drinking it, officials said Thursday, six days after a water main break west of downtown affected service and spurred the advisory.

Normal water flow and pressure was restored citywide on Wednesday, but more time was required to test for bacteria to ensure the water was safe to drink.

The first rupture took place Friday and was repaired on Saturday. A second leak that began later Friday wasn't fixed until Tuesday.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Wednesday that he would support a plan to spend $5 million to reimburse businesses for losses during the water outage. He also promised an assessment of the city’s infrastructure and to deploy monitors to detect leaking pipes.

The boil-water advisory never covered the whole city, and it was lifted for most affected areas on Monday. But it remained in place for downtown and Midtown Atlanta as well as some neighborhoods to the east.

Atlanta’s water outages are the latest example of failing infrastructure across the country. A 2022 crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, which has a long-troubled water system, left many residents without safe running water for weeks. Other cities including Flint, Michigan, have also struggled to supply residents with safe drinking water.

The first-term Democratic mayor has been under fire for Atlanta's response to the leaks, especially because Dickens left town after the first major leak to travel to Memphis, Tennessee, where he held a fundraiser for his 2025 reelection campaign and met with that city's leaders to discuss crime and other issues.

Dickens' administration said it wasn't clear that the first leak west of downtown would create a major disruption when he proceeded with the trip. A second major leak in the city's Midtown neighborhood began later Friday.