Gulf of Mexico
Wolf Bay is recognized as one of the state's "Outstanding Alabama Water" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (file photo).

AL - Orange Beach officials tout $6 million in sewer upgrades near Wolf Bay

Sewer projects often do not generate headlines, and are rarely ribbon cutting spectacles for politicians and business leaders.

But in Orange Beach, city officials are pointing out the significance of a $6 million sewer project they view as an important addition to a key body of water within one of Alabama’s most popular tourism cities.

“Sewer lines may be out of sign, out of mind but it’s a critical system that needs to be maintained properly,” Mayor Tony Kennon said in a news release the city sent out Friday touting the addition of eight miles of sewer line from Alabama State Highway 180 in Orange Beach to an existing sewer lift station on Baldwin County Road 12.

The project began in April 2022, and was completed last month. City officials say the project will benefit areas north and east of Wolf Bay to Josephine. Implementation of the project will prevent failures in the existing sewer system, and decrease the use of off-site septic systems, the city says.

“Water quality improvements and upgraded sewer infrastructure are priority projects for Coastal Alabama,” said Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship.

Said Kennon, “Having eight miles of the sewer force main upgraded from pipes that were installed in the late 80s will ensure the protection of Wolf Bay to our north and better serve residents in the area for decades to come.”

Wolf Bay has been recognized by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. EPA as an “Outstanding Alabama Water,” Kennon noted, and he said the project will help “protect that designation.”

The money for the project came from RESTORE Act money through a 2012 federal law created in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill. Projects for funding are chosen by the RESTORE Council that consists of governors from the five Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Texas) and the cabinet heads of six federal agencies. Blankenship represents Ivey on the council.

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