MACON, Ga. — The Macon Water Authority says if they take on a massive project to repair the county's stormwater system, they would pay for it through SPLOST funds and by charging customers an added fee.

We've reported before about flooding problems throughout the county due to old storm drains.

Tony Rojas runs the Macon Water Authority. He says the county has road cave-ins or massive flooding are caused because the water has no place to go. 

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The county's stormwater drainage system can't handle the water because of the age and size of the pipes.

"We take our storm sewer system for granted until it's not functioning and we have a problem," said Rojas. 

The Environmental Protection  Agency recently fined Macon-Bibb $145,000 by the EPA for stormwater violations.

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One of those violations says that the county hasn't done a proper inventory and they don't know what a third of the county's pipes look like.

"A lot of it was what are the things you're going to do to meet the later deadlines and we've done that," said Rojas.

He says they responded to the violations by fixing them or letting the federal agency know about a timeline to fix them.

The county set aside $25 million in their SPLOST fund to pay for the project, but if the Macon Water Authority takes over the project it would still cost customers some money.

Rojas says he originally estimated it would cost the average person about $5.75 on their bill, now he says it could cost more.

Rojas says their workers are studying the system right now to see if they can take on a long-term project to fix the drains.

"What we really don't know is how bad it is or what condition is it," said Rojas. 

He says he doesn't want the cost to be too astronomical for their customers.

Macon Water Authority has until October to opt out of their contract with the city to take on the stormwater system improvement. He says customers wouldn't have to start paying the added fee until at least January 2021.

We reached out to the Environmental Protections Agency, they said their policy is not to comment on ongoing enforcement matters.

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