In March of 2014, heavy rains overran some parts of Robertsdale’s sewer system. In
particular, the College Street pump station where the Baldwin County Health Department said
anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Rock Creek. City
officials hoped to begin repairs to the old system this summer.
Heavy rains caused storm water to infiltrate the sewer system. The two pumps couldn’t keep
up with the flow and thousands of gallons of sewage overflowed into Rock Creek. The
Baldwin County Health Department estimated the spill to have been up to 100,000 gallons.
Since then, the city has secured a $400,000 grant and has now completed the environmental
study to get started on the much needed repairs.
“We’re noe into the design and bidding phase. Hopefully, we’ll be bidding the project by
the end of July at the latest,” said Robertsdale City Engineer, Greg Smith.
The initial project will coat the insides of 1,200 feet of sewer pipe. Since the work will
be done from the inside, area roads should see little impact.
“We don’t plan on having to dig anything up and also the man holes will be repaired or
rehabed from the inside as well,” Smith said.
The $400,000 in grant money is a good start to fixing the problem, but it won’t end there.
The city will then go into all the man holes and all the pipes throughout the city to check
for further leaks.
They won’t litteraly go into the pipes. They’ll use a special camera system that will do
the dirty work for them. That work has already begun on the north side of town. Crews are
inspecting sewer pipes with by feeding a 1,200 foot cable through the system and
documenting any problems they find. Fixing any of the problems may take some time though.
“We have budgeted a small amount this year…I think around $50,000 to go in and do what we
call spot repairs and man hole linings and we’ve identified some other man holes in other
parts of our system that need to be worked on and we’ll hopefully be biding that out in the
next month or so as well,” Smith explained.
The city expects the initial repairs to be finished by the end of this year or the first
part of next year. While the repairs are being done, the city has a large pump on standby
and will put it on line if two or more inches of rain are expected. This will prevent
another overflow like what happened in March.