Baldwin Sewage Spill: “Numbers strictly an estimate”

We continue to follow the sewage situation in Baldwin County where hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage overflowed into Robertsdale’s Rock Creek after more than 7-inches of rain flooded the area earlier this week.

Robertsdale city workers said they finally got the overflow on College Street to stop around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon. We’ve been following this sewage overflow problem for months.

People who live in Robertsdale tell us they have to deal with this same mess even when there’s 2-inches of rain.

Robertsdale officials initially reported 100,000- 1,000,000 gallons of sewage spilled. We wanted to know how those numbers are determined.

“It’s strictly an estimate. You have to look at what you get at your sewer plant on the daily basis. We know that the two major pump stations we have, pump to our sewer plant so we know roughly how much we’re getting at the plant. We just have to estimate how much is overflowing at the stations,” said Smith.

Smith is the city of Robertsdale’s engineer. He said that initial sewage overflow report can be narrowed down to around 200,000 to 300,000 gallons spilled. This area has been the victim to several overflows and the city has obtained a grant to update the sewer system’s lining.

“We’re on schedule for starting construction at the end of August,” said Smith.

The city has started step one in the process which is getting an environmental assessment and advertising that to the public. Then the public has a chance to weigh in. So basically, all paperwork for now. If construction begins in August, Smith said it will take 4-5 months. So when will residents see relief?

“The main thing is getting the storm water to stop coming into our sewer system. We are again working on some alternatives to temporarily handle the flows until we can reduce the amount of inflow,” Smith said.

One of those alternatives is a stronger pump that is right now at the College Street site assisting the existing pump. Officials said they are trying to determine whether they should keep something like it on site permanently in case another overflow happens.

The grant that has been awarded pays $45,000, the city will have to come up with another 45,000 to go with it. For now, residents who use Rock Creek have been warned to exercise caution. Smith said included in that is the Blackwater River because Rock Creek flows into it, and the Perdido River which the Blackwater River also flows into.

Fox10 News will continue to follow-up on the current situation with the Rock Creek overflow, and the updates from the city of Robertsdale on the repairs being made to the sewer system.




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