STORMS CAUSE SEWAGE OVERFLOW IN TUSCALOOSA
Heavy thunderstorms did more than knock down trees and power lines Sunday night. Because of excess water from the storm, sewage overflowed in parts of Tuscaloosa.
“We had six overflows this morning in our sewer collection system that were due to excessive rainfall in the overnight hours,” said Water & Sewer Linear Assets Associate Director Jarrod Milligan on Monday. “We had 3.3 inches in a 12-hour span.”
City engineers said that the current sewage and water system is not equipped for such a high volume in a short amount of time.
“During that type of rain event, it does stress our system capacity,” Milligan said.
This event has some Tuscaloosa residents wondering if the city’s sewer system is strong enough to handle the job.
“The water flow has increased, and the drainage has not,” Tuscaloosa resident James Mize said. “I mean the pipes just aren’t large enough, and it would be nice to have another line to take the water somewhere else.”
The city knows about the water issues and said fixing the problem is a priority.
“We are addressing some of these problems, with our current SRF project,” Milligan said. “For instance, lift station three project we’re anticipating to spend over $9 million on that project to address these type of issues.”
Engineers said that during heavy rain events it is mostly storm water with nowhere to go that overflows, not sewage.
An overflow last week spilled about 8,000 gallons of sewage into a tributary of Cribbs Mill Creek, one of the major rainwater drainage routes for the city.