Fairhope well forced to shutdown due to contamination

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – It’s not a problem that’s happened overnight by any stretch, but a water issue is affecting Fairhope this week.

Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan blames the aging infrastructure and soil on a lot of the problems. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is taking a closer look at the high levels of manganese they say is contaminating the water supply.

“This is a process that ADEM puts in place to make sure that drinking water stays safe and we want to make sure that we do whatever we have to to make sure that we maintain a safe drinking water supply for our citizens,” said Mayor Sullivan.

Manganese is a chemical element that‘s making its way into several of the city’s wells at a high rate. The element will discolor water. 

“Certainly it’s nothing that’s harmful to the general public. We want people to know that,” Sullivan added. 

Well #4 can provide up to one million gallons of water a day to Fairhope residents. That’s a big loss this week with the shutdown. Mayor Sullivan is asking for your help while they work on a fix.

“If we are going to have rain, make sure your irrigation is off for conservation. Certainly right now we’re not asking people to conserve water. We do have a plan in place if we had to do that,” she adds.

It’s a problem that’s being worked on behind the scenes, Mayor Sullivan says. The timeline to remedy the problem, though, isn’t yet known.

“A lot of it is just from the type of pipe that was used in the past and the soil that we have here and what that does over time,” Mayor Sullivan continued.

The city is now looking at drilling new wells at other sites. Officials will continue to test the water and open the well again with ADEM’s approval.

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