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Buford Dam Road reopens
Crews repair busted pipe
A leaking treated wastewater pipe eroded the side of Buford Dam Road on Thursday morning. Here, Josh Alewine stabilizes a hose being used to pump the treated wastewater out of the hole. - photo by Jim Dean

Buford Dam Road has reopened after crews repaired a cracked wastewater line.

The busy corridor was closed for hours between Nuckolls and Sanders roads, east of Cumming, with traffic diverted to Hwy. 20.

The leak in the line, which runs parallel to the road and Lake Lanier, was discovered early Thursday morning.

The pipe was a private line not owned by the city or county, officials said. It belongs to the Habersham Action Committee, which could not be reached for comment.

Jon Heard, city of Cumming utilities director, said a contractor was called to make the repairs after the pipe was turned off.

“This was a line that was pressurized, so … when it broke, all the pressure from the pump caused the erosion to the earth around the pipe,” Heard said. “That’s why it did so much damage.”

The pipe carries treated wastewater being pumped back into the lake, Heard said.

Tim Allen, assistant director of the Forsyth County Engineering Department, said the damage was limited to the shoulder.

“The shoulder was gone for about 10 feet there, all the way up to the guardrail, so there was a good-sized hole you could fall in … but it didn’t actually wash out the road,” he said.

“They’re just going to backfill it with some crushed stone up to the roadway to further protect it from differential settlement in the future so it should be fine.”