FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — We turn the faucet on expecting water to come pouring out, but rapid growth and an aging infrastructure is putting this valuable resource in jeopardy over the last week.
“Fairhope was built with small pipes in the ground and we have to go in and expand that capacity to be able to carry more water,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan.
Sullivan said development beyond the city’s control is adding to the problem on the outskirts of town. Not to mention many of the projects were already approved by previous administrations which leave officials now with the problems.
“It’s not just that easy to stop development. When we put the moratorium in we told people the moratorium was a little too late,” said Sullivan. “There were already things that had been on the books for two, three, four, five and six years.”
Two new wells are already being built and should come online within the next six months, but that doesn’t account for the total process and making sure they’re up and running.
“We have to put that other pipe in the ground to be able to increase capacity even more, but we are upsizing some other pipes that will allow us to increase capacity,” said Sullivan.
She said supply issues aren’t helping either, but one thing that might help in the immediate future is rain that’s in the forecast this weekend. A decision will be made Monday to determine what happens next with the water conservation. Mayor Sullivan said as of Friday morning levels are looking promising and she’s not sure if a water emergency will be declared Monday or not.