FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – We turn on the tap expecting water to pour out, but rapid growth and aging infrastructure have put this precious resource at risk over the past week.
“Fairhope was built with small pipes in the ground and we need to go in and expand that capacity to be able to carry more water,” Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan said.
Sullivan said development outside the city’s control is compounding the problem on the city’s outskirts. Not to mention that many projects have already been approved by previous administrations, which now leaves officials with problems.
“It is not so easy to stop development. When we put in the moratorium, we told people the moratorium was a little too late,” Sullivan said. “There were already things that had been in the books for two, three, four, five and six years.”
Two new wells are already under construction and should be commissioned in the next six months, but this does not take into account the whole process and the guarantee that they are operational.
“We have to put this other pipe in the ground so we can increase capacity even more, but we are expanding other pipes that will allow us to increase capacity,” Sullivan said.
She said supply issues weren’t helping either, but one thing that could help in the immediate future is the rain that’s forecast for this weekend. A decision will be made on Monday to determine what happens next with water conservation. Mayor Sullivan said Friday morning the levels looked promising and she was unsure if a water emergency would be declared on Monday or not.