Fairhope reports sewage overflow of up to 200,000 gallons stoppe - FOX10 News | WALA

Fairhope reports sewage overflow of up to 200,000 gallons stopped

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The Alabama Department of Health reported Monday afternoon, February 12, 2018 that a sewage overflow in Fairhope has been stopped.  Fairhope Water and Sewer reported between 100,000 and 200.000 gallons of sewer overflowed Sunday and Monday in the area of Middle Street and Dogwood Avenue. 

Posts over the weekend to the Fox 10 News Facebook page showed video from a Fairhope resident’s cell phone.  In the video, a constant flow of water and sewage could be seen spewing from a manhole cover.  By mid-day Monday, little had changed.  Warning signs were posted and crews were working to fix the problem, but area residents were concerned about possible impacts of the sewage.

“It’s sewage and of course, that’s not sanitary,” said Middle Street resident, Bettie Dakotah.  “It’s full of bacteria so…and it’s coming down into the streets I assume.”

Dakotah returned from out of town Sunday and saw signs reading, “Sanitary Sewage Overflow” posted along her street and sewage flowing freely into the drainage ditch along her street.

Well, it was disconcerting because I’ve never seen that before,” Dakotah said.  “I’ve lived here a little over a year and I’ve seen the water level rise before, but I’ve never seen any signs saying this was sewage.”

Runoff from heavy rains over the weekend put a strain on the system causing the backup.  The Baldwin County Health Department said the sewage flowed from Big Head Gully into Tatumville Gully and then into Mobile Bay.  Those who’ve lived in the area for years said the problem isn’t a new one and has only worsened with new development.

“All this new development here…the drainage is running all of the water now through this area…not just here on my property, but on my neighbor’s property and the properties all the way on the other side,” explained homeowner, Daryl Wasp.  “Everyone…we’re all talking about how the water’s steady and it’s taking over our homes.”

The city brought in a portable, high capacity pump to help with the problem.  By late Monday afternoon, the flow had stopped, but warning signs will remain posted until bacteria levels are back within Health Department guidelines.  

Two other Baldwin County cities reported spills of more than 100 thousand gallons over the weekend.  Foley reported 124,000 gallons of partially treated sewage reached Wolf Creek and in Robertsdale, between 100,000 and 250,000 gallons made it into Rock Creek.  Daphne reported no spills or overflows.

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