Thursday, January 5, 2017

Numerous Fairhope Sewer Overflows Reported

Fairhope, Alabama

Manhole overflowed at 550 Middle Street


According to reports filed with the Department of Environmental Management, several sanitary sewer overflows occurred during the  heavy rains last weekend: the biggest being overflow from a manhole in the 550 block of Middle Street (at Valley Street)  where approximately 144K gallons of un-treated sewage mixed with storm water overflowed and ran off through natural ditches/waterways into Tatumville Gully.
417 Valley Street lift station

Massive storm water intrusion into the old sewer pipes caused the lift station at 419 Valley Street to fail ... causing the nearby manhole to overflow, according to the document; the failure lasted about 12 hours beginning January 2nd at 10AM.

Smaller manhole overflows occurred on Fairwood Blvd. north of Fairhope Avenue (which flowed into Big Mouth Gully) and on Young Street (at Johnson) due to blocked sewer lines: 1250 and 200 gallons respectively.

Crews were still working to clear the blockages early this morning.

(The city is required to self-report all such overflows)


A primary reason given for imposing a six month moratorium on some new development was to conduct a study of the sewage collection system to identify problems and then effect repairs.

A $13 million upgrade to the city's sewage treatment plant to increase capacity (for 15 years into the future) was completed last year; but a phase two of the project -- to upgrade the collection system piping to the plant -- has not yet begun: cost estimates the Times has heard for that are around an additional $10 million.

How to better-manage storm water was mentioned by the mayor as a priority for the city's new Economic and Community Development director, Ms. Bloodworth-Botop.

(Funding to address the chronic problem on Middle/Valley Streets had already been included in this year's municipal budget)

Fairwood Blvd. manhole overflow

Middle Street drainage

Valley Street drainage


Anonymous said...

I find this somewhat disturbing. Why was the entire system not upgraded before sewer funds were used to settle the Dyas lawsuit? And why has no work been done on this lately? I am so happy that we have a new Mayor who appears to be attempting to shine some light/get some answers about these critical issues, all the while new subdivisions and apartments have been approved left and right. I am optimistic about the future if Mayor Wilson is not run off by morons.

Anonymous said...

Infrastructure concerns abound.

Anonymous said...

This is a prime example of the new moratorium on development expansion.Yet the motor lodge installation was approved on 104.OK now who is going to service that system.Most of the infrastructure has been limited by the lack of and misappropriation of funds by the previous Mayors and councils.Now we have a repudiative issue with in the new expansion s the old system in the fruit and nut district is still old clay pipe.The other influence is home owners who consistently believe they own to the road side not the LOT line and that their planted trees on city right of way interfere with proper maintenance to the root system intrudes into the older system causing unnessary failures.Problematic for decades and will require decades to remedy.

Anonymous said...

You all do not know what you are talking about. In a rain event like that from Louisiana to Florida up through Birmingham where it rain the last few days every system had SSOs, and if none were reported then they are not being honest. No it does not make it right but that is what happens when people hook french drains and storm drain from there yards and houses into the sewer system. The systems of today are way more efficient then just a few years ago. Just more are being reported so the press hears about it more. Wastewater plants had bypass valves legally in there permit, if you have a problem that could flood homes or damage property the would open the valve straight to the river, creek or bay. Most homes use to dump there grey water straight into the ditch never in sewer only bathroom toilet water. Look it up and compare. The waters are way cleaner.

Anonymous said...

Blame the geese. I still say that the bay is human waste .