PRICHARD, Ala (WALA) – We are looking into Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board after nearly 7 million gallons of sewage spewed out of their system last week.
We tried to get answers from Prichard Water Works, but as soon as we got inside many of our questions were not answered.
Our visit to the utility company on Tuesday was prompted by a sewer overflow report that came out that morning. It says more than 6.7 million gallons of raw sewage overflowed after Tropical Storm Nicholas brought around 6 inches of rain.
Customers say they are concerned after hearing about last week’s overflow.
“That’s gross,” said Alecia Hay, a Prichard Water Works and Sewer customer. “The diseases you catch from that.”
“There’s pollution too, not only diseases or pathogens, but there’s also runoff from all matter of things,” said Evan Riddle, a Prichard Water Works and Sewer customer.
The biggest overflow listed on the report is from the area near Chin and Butts streets. Nearly 1.3 million gallons overflowed on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Nine other locations in the area also had spills.
“With the amount of spills that they’re having right now it seems like they have lines that are deteriorated potentially beyond repair so that the rain water and storm water is infiltrating straight into those pipes,” said Cade Kistler, Interim Director and Bay Keeper with Mobile Baykeeper.
Kistler says utilities throughout our area are dealing with aging infrastructure, but many are spending lots of money on upgrades.
The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System recently built two severe weather tanks to stop spills when heavy rain hits and they are working on more.
It is unclear what exactly Prichard Water is doing.
Customers hope to see a plan put into place.
“If that’s an issue, I’d say so,’ Hay said. “Nobody wants sewage running down their roads with their children playing.”
We reached out to the board’s attorney who tells us that they are working to fix the issues.
He said it is believed most of the overflows are caused by the cross connections where storm runoff goes into sewer lines.
An engineering firm has been hired to make recommendations and figure out the cost to fix the problem.
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