Through a combination of our regular SWIM water quality monitoring, stormwater inspections, and more, we detect and track sewage spills on a regular basis. Mobile and Baldwin Counties need to consistently invest in and maintain sewer collection systems to decrease the frequency and severity of overflows and accommodate current and future growth. Mobile Baykeeper advocates for more resources to repair and replace damaged and aging sewer infrastructure. We do this by working with utility providers to find solutions to problems associated with sewage collection systems. When utilities won’t work with us, we may use the rule of law to hold them accountable.
Recent Sewage Spills in the Mobile Bay Area
We work hard to make sure that citizens are aware of threats to their health and environment. We want to ensure that you can make decisions based on the most up to the minute information to protect the health of yourself and your family. That's why we created the Sewer Spill Explorer in 2016. This tool allows you to review when and where sewer spills occur. We update this map on a weekly basis with information provided by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and local sewage treatment facility operators.
REPORT SEWAGE SPILLS
We rely on both our Patrol team and on citizens like you to report suspected sewage spills. If you suspect a sewage spill, call the nearest utility company right away. You can also call us at 251-433-4229 or click the button below.
Latest Updates on Our Sewage Work
Mobile Baykeeper, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the Attorney General’s Office, and the Utilities Board of the Daphne have reached an agreement settling a lawsuit filed in December 2017 regarding unpermitted discharges into D’Olive Creek and discharges of sewage that violated the facility’s permit. The agreement requires Daphne Utilities to have an Engineering Report produced that comprehensively addresses the changes needed in their wastewater system to comply with applicable rules and regulations as well as permit conditions. The report will be actionable with a defined schedule for implementing any needed corrective actions. The agreement has been filed with the Baldwin County Circuit Court for approval.
When the Alabama Department of Public Health notified the public about a sewage spill from the Town of Loxley on Monday, Mobile Baykeeper’s Program Director Cade Kistler grabbed his gear and headed out to Fish River. Kistler took samples from four locations along Fish River: County Rd 64 just down from the Loxley discharge, Highway 104, Bohemian Park (County Rd. 48), and County Rd 32. This evening Mobile Baykeeper staff were able to read the results, which showed E. coli levels of 262 MPN/100mL (most probable number of bacteria in 100mL of water) at County Rd 64, 160 MPN/100mL at Highway 104, 170 MPN/100mL at Bohemian Park, and 134 MPN/100mL at County Rd 32. The EPA E. coli threshold for swimming is 235 MPN/100mL. While these results are near, and in one case just exceeding, the EPA threshold it’s important to note they are similar to the average E. coli levels (193 MPN/100mL) Mobile Baykeeper’s S.W.I.M. sampling has found in Fish River at Bohemian Park on days without reported sewage releases or spills.
Following an alarming video posted to Facebook late Saturday night, Mobile Baykeeper has done what they do best: investigate potential pollution. Executive Director Casi Callaway received the video on Sunday and called Fairhope Utilities to report a potential sewage spill. On Monday, Program Director Cade Kistler, Program Coordinator Meredith Diskin, and AmeriCorps Patrol member Sarah Asher went out to investigate. Today they were able to read the water samples they took, which all showed bacteria levels below the EPA threshold. The identification of the substance remains unclear.
Read more about the overview of 2018 Sanitary Sewage Overflows in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Find out what the top causes for spills were and the waterways most impacted by these spills.
Mobile Baykeeper has once again discovered ongoing violations by Daphne Utilities. With Daphne Utilities releasing nearly three million gallons of partially treated sewage every day in January, the 4000% violation of legally allowable bacteria levels amounts to approximately 4.6 trillion colonies of bacteria above the legal limit being released into Mobile Bay during the month.
Mobile Baykeeper has discovered additional violations against Daphne Utilities after filing a lawsuit against the utility on December 19, 2017.
The utility has failed to comply with its permit by falsely reporting, failing to report, and underreporting sewer spills into local rivers, creeks, and bays.
Significant problems have plagued oyster harvesting in Portersville Bay for years and water quality remains a major issue in the area. ADEM now has the opportunity to solve many of the problems facing Portersville Bay and its water quality issues affecting oyster harvesting. This can only take place if ADEM works with other agencies, local businesses – especially the seafood industry and aquaculture – and local citizens and includes all relevant studies and data in the permitting process.
The Bayou La Batre sewer plant NPDES permit is being reissued by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). The public can comment on this permit until Friday 11/10.
Mobile Baykeeper is writing comments centered around one main idea; the permit needs to be protective of oyster farming!
We encourage you to submit your own comments about the permit to ADEM.
Thanks to the amazing response from the community and comments by Mobile Baykeeper the project was modified. The sewer line that is now in place was "hung" from the County Road 32 bridge, where a break or spill would be obvious and quickly fixed, a WIN for clean water and Fish River community members! This victory is clear proof that YOU can affect change!