Updated: Friday, 02 Sep 2011, 6:01 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 02 Sep 2011, 11:16 AM CDT
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Tropical Storm Lee has the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service in storm mode. Crews are on standby to make sure Mobile's source for drinking water stays pure.
Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is preparing for heavy rainfall expected with the tropical trouble in the Gulf.
Assistant Director Les Brown said there are three areas of concern. One of them is Big Creek Lake. It's Mobile's source for drinking water. If there is too much rain, MAWSS will have to release some.
"[It's] very fortunate for us from this standpoint, that our lake is down because of the amount of rain we have had, so we have a tremendous amount of storage capacity. But we may have to release. We will keep an eye on things," said Brown.
MAWSS will also keep its eyes on coastal flooding and stream erosion.
One of its plants is 14 feet above sea level, and if flooding were to happen, Brown said it would become an island because the surrounding area is lower.
"If we see coastal flooding, [we'll] probably have to leave the plant put on generators, [as we've] done many times during hurricanes," said Brown.
Stream erosion is a concern because a lot of MAWSS' utilities cross streams, and infrastructure could be damaged when a bank gives.
Brown said dealing with tropical trouble is nothing new for MAWSS, and he doesn't foresee any problems.
The City of Mobile is responsible for storm drains. City spokeswoman Barbara Drummond said the city is gathering sandbags and barricades in case of flooding.