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The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Have a water or sewer issue? ‘See, Click, Fix’ won’t take care of it

Macon Water Authority has no online reporting system but has phone operators 24 hours a day
Liz Fabian
A sinkhole on Calhoun Street originally was reported through Macon-Bibb County’s “See, Click, Fix” website, but should have been reported by calling the Macon Water Authority for swifter reaction.

When the beginnings of a sinkhole opened up on Calhoun Street on March 30, Beall’s Hill neighbors promptly reported it to “See, Click, Fix” — the go-to reporting system for all Macon-Bibb County issues, they thought.

Assuming they had done their civic duty, the neighbors thought it would be quickly repaired. 

But See, Click, Fix is limited to issues within the scope of Macon-Bibb County and there is no formal referral process to outside entities like the Macon Water Authority, so the report might not get to the crews responsible for fixing it. 

The Beall’s Hill neighbors learned that lesson a couple of days after reporting the problem. One of them noticed the See, Click, Fix ticket was closed with the explanation that the matter should be reported directly to the Macon Water Authority.

The water utility does not use an online or email reporting system. Incident reports are handled over the phone. 

A neighbor called MWA and a crew promptly filled in the hole, but following a night of heavy rain, two larger holes appeared the next day. She called again.

More asphalt was added, and another small hole emerged that evening and the frustrated neighbor gave up and didn’t call again.

In another incident two months ago, she also called MWA to report what appeared to be a sewer leak of foul smelling liquid near the Adams Street entrance to Tattnall Square Park. 

Some nine weeks later, she noticed a similar See, Click, Fix report for the same spot was reported Friday.  

An apparent sewer leak in Tattnall Square Park was reported as early as February, but remained unresolved this week after a “See, Click, Fix” ticket was filed and closed by Macon-Bibb County, which does not have jurisdiction over water and sewer issues. (Liz Fabian)

This time, it appears Macon-Bibb County Public Works roped off the sidewalk from what appeared to be toilet paper and a plastic tampon applicator in a puddle of drying liquid on the concrete walkway.  

Monday, that recent See, Click, Fix ticket was closed with the standard message: “Thank you for your inquiry. You will need to report this directly to the Macon Water Authority @ 478-464-5600.”

Emergencies that occur between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays and at all hours on weekends and holidays should be reported to 478-464-5656.

After Macon Water Authority took over Stormwater Management from the county in 2021, Macon-Bibb no longer services a number of See, Click, Fix categories that remain active in its system. People can still file reports under those headings, so it’s easy to incorrectly assume the report is getting to the right department and will be handled.

If you encounter former Macon-Bibb County Public Works issues such as problems with a catch basin, road cave-in or pavement sinking, manhole covers, ditch maintenance, drainage and street sweeping under See, Click, Fix’s Beautification tab, contact the Macon Water Authority directly by phone.

Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said there is no formal referral process from See, Click, Fix to the Macon Water Authority, or any other entity beyond the scope of services handled by county workers and subcontractors such as Ryland Environmental for trash pickup. 

“The reason we would not route it to the Water Authority is because we don’t have control of those services,” Floore said. “So, by having the person contact the Water Authority puts you in contact with people doing the services.”

How to track MWA work order updates

Calls to MWA that involve stormwater management are directed to Marvin Land, MWA’s manager who formerly worked in Macon-Bibb County’s Public Works Department. He is familiar with the See, Click, Fix work order tracking system. 

Although MWA has its own internal Cityworks system, Land will often get a heads up from his former county co-workers, but the best way to report water issues is by calling the customer care line that is staffed 24 hours a day.

“You can’t go online and that’s the reason we have all the customer service folks to answer the telephones for any complaints, concerns, billing questions. That way all of it gets addressed,” Land said. “Any cave-ins get addressed 24 hours a day. There’s always a live person. You won’t get a recording.”

MWA also will be immediately alerted if there are emergency issues reported through 911. 

To best keep track of an MWA Cityworks report, Land suggests asking for a work order number. 

“Anytime you call in there, they will take the request. They send it over to us and then we investigate and create a work order off of it. That way, it just gives us a tracking mechanism to keep track of everything we’ve got,” Land said. 

MWA Customer Care Manager Susan Miles offers advice for those reporting issues that are not on their own property or associated with their Macon Water Authority account. 

If you are reporting a water main break or sewage spill, be as specific as possible as to the location. That way if you don’t have a work order number, or an account associated with the issue, the Customer Care representatives can better locate any updates in the system. 

“We do have that information at hand, but having some landmarks or a near location, that greatly helps so it can help us narrow down where we need to look,” Miles said. “Just give us as much detail as possible. So, in order for us to respond as quickly as we can to try to isolate the issue, that helps out. Landmarks, street name, any of that information that we can actually utilize to make sure that, one, we’re showing up timely, and also not only timely, but at the right location.”

When dialing 478-464-5600, callers initially hear a recording directing them to various options depending on the nature of the complaint. 

If it is an emergency that needs immediate attention, choose the first option that includes water main breaks and sewage spills. 

Non-emergency calls may take more time to correct, Land said.

“We try to stay accountable with everything because I keep a list of open work orders and I check them daily because we try to prioritize emergencies,” Land said. “But at the same time we don’t want some staying open two or three months if we can find a way to get to it. Right now, public safety is the number one priority, like cave-ins, or anything like that. So that’s what we jump on. And this system, as old as it is, we have plenty of ‘em.”

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities and can be reached at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.

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    Ed RekauApr 16, 2024 at 8:10 pm

    They will not fix sink holes in your easement where the builder covered drain ditches with plywood then covered it with dirt when the homes were built in the 70s.