Monday, May 18, 2015

Morphy Drainage Basin Now A Lake?

Fairhope, Alabama. (

Morphy Ave. basin, May 2015

The re-modeled Morphy drainage basin (aka 'Winn Dixie')  may need further modifications because it does not meet the city's current drainage standards.

Previously widely-ridiculed for "not really retaining anything" (storm water), now its apparently retaining too much, for too long.

It may now be technically a retention basin (or a lake feature) instead of the intended detention type (holds water only temporarily).

Mosquito-spread-diseases are the major concern, they can reproduce in as little as 96 hours after laying eggs on the water's surface (life cycle: egg, larvae, pupae, adult).


In a 2010 agreement, the city agreed to pay for the lease of property for the nearby BRATS transit station behind the Fred's store ($24K per year), if the county would handle the improvements to the drainage basin; then the city would take over its long-term maintenance.

To cut costs, the county commission decided their highway  department should do construction itself, but adhered to less restrictive county design standards for detention instead.

The thick clay bottom should have been replaced with a more permeable material, to allow faster percolation down into the earth.

The basin was funded by an ALDOT grant with matching county funds.


aerator example
Some solutions being discussed are an aerator (fountain) to break the water's surface tension making mosquito egg-laying difficult and adding sand or other filters to the basin's bottom to speed up

Some sort of "sump pump" to completely drain it was also suggested.


Hawthorne Glen channel
County highway engineer Cal Markert thinks part of the problem may be the outfall was blocked by poorly-maintained drainage easements downstream in the Hawthorne Glen neighborhood, causing a back-up during heavy rains; the main obstruction has been cleared.

Lack of maintenance of storm water facilities on private property in older subdivisions (constructed before 2007) is a major problem  throughout town, according to the mayor.

In 2007 the city adopted an ordinace requiring routine inspections.

county engineer Cal Markert


Anonymous said...

are they blaming wal mart for that too lol

Anonymous said...

This is a good idea. we need more regional plans like this one to get the flooding under cntrol.

Anonymous said...

just stok it with fish to eat up the skeeters ....