Fairhope community fed up with water main breaking, want answers

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) – If you’ve ever been without water in your home you know how frustrating it can be. Some residents who live on County Road 3 in Fairhope said it’s a problem they deal with monthly because the water line in front of their homes keeps breaking.

“You understand something is going to break from time to time but this has been excessive,” said Tommy Long who lives near the problem area.

The morning of Friday, August 29, the line broke underneath a homeowner’s driveway. Crews had to finish another problem on Highway 181 before they could fix it the line break on County Road 3.

“In the interim during this whole process people either have very low pressure and then when they have to turn the water off, it will have no pressure and that can be for several hours,” said Marilyn Roe who lives near the water line break.

Residents want a permanent solution to the recurring problem so Fox10 News took neighbor’s concerns to the City of Fairhope to get answers.

Jay Whitman with the Fairhope Water and Sewer Utilities Department said the current pipe has been in the ground for more than 20 years and it’s not uncommon for a water line to break.

“There are pressure points all along this line all the way around the corner and as those pressure pints increase with dry spells. The pipe itself gets in a bind and the weight of the dirt puts a lot of pressure on it and it finds the weakest point. Today it was in this driveway,” Whitman explained.

Fox10 News asked if there were planes to permanently replace the pipe.

“We’d love to upgrade the pipe it’s just not that simple with budget constraints. To replace the entire length of pipe which would probably be close to four or five miles, would cost millions I’m sure,” Whitman said.

It’s not an answer residents want to hear.

Whitman said orders to replace the line have to come from Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant who wasn’t available for an interview Friday.

Fox10 News asked about contamination of the water during these breaks. Whitman said they chlorinate the pipes then flush them.

 

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