Heavy rains cause sanitary sewer overflows in Alabama

Posted at 11:34 AM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 11:34:49-05

MOBILE, AL – This weekend’s rain not only dampened Mardi Gras parades but caused sewer overflows across the city. The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is currently monitoring overflows due to the rain.

Heavy rainfall the last two days have caused 17 sewer overflows across the Port City. Thousands of gallons of overflow went into Dog River and Eslava and Three Mile Creeks said MAWSS.

Barbara Shaw with MAWSS said, “The overflows happen because of heavy rainfall and aging infrastructure.” When it comes to this round of rain, MAWSS will get an estimate of how much has spilled once the rain stops. For now, MAWSS and the Mobile Baykeeper are urging caution on those areas.

Mobile Baykeeper Casi Callaway said, “Sewage in waterways is clearly a problem, we don’t want to be swimming in it, sewage in fish can cause health problems as well, so you have to be careful when you consume it.”

Callaway said there needs to be a solution to stop these overflows every time it rains. According to MAWSS, it’s working on one.

Shaw said, “We do have projects in the works to reduce the overflows in the future.”

Shaw added, “We are currently building a 20 million gallon storage facility, designed to reduce the overflows in the Halls Mills Creek area, it’s to prevent them from reaching these fresh bodies of water, we hope we have this project completed in the Spring.” Shaw continued, “We also have plans ready for storage tanks to reduce overflows in the Three Mile Creek and also in the Eslava Creek area.”

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.