Sewage lines overflow from heavy rain during Tropical Storm Cristobal

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Tropical Storm Cristobal dumped a significant amount of rainfall that caused Sewer spills throughout Mobile and Baldwin County. Mobile Baykeeper reports these spills are a result of old broken sewage pipes inundated by heavy rain. 

News 5 Colleen Peterson spoke with Cade Kistler, from the MobileBayKeeper, to get more information.

“As they get older they start to have problems such as holes and cracks in the sewer lines,” Cade said. When we have heavy rain with the rain water with the flooding we see on the streets can go into the sewer lines which can get overwhelmed.”

MobileBaykeeper advises the community to stay out of local waterways for at least 48 hours after heavy rain events, even if those waterways did not have reported spills. Bacteria from pet waste, failing septic systems, and other stormwater runoff can make waterways unsafe after heavy rains.

“If there are big enough spills then they flow off into the closest water ways,” Cade said.

Large rainfall events often overwhelm aging infrastructure, including old wastewater pipes, pump stations, and in some cases treatment facilities, leading to sewage spills and inadequately treated sewage.

This is why it is imperative to invest in upgrading our infrastructure before permitting mass development and ensure septic tanks are properly installed and maintained. Mobile Baykeeper continues to advocate for such investment by local municipalities while informing the public of the latest data so our communities can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

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