Fairhope City Council approved a creative solution for the city’s water issue, and it involves Daphne. At the Aug. 29 regular city council meeting, council unanimously passed a resolution …
Fairhope City Council approved a creative solution for the city’s water issue, and it involves Daphne.
At the Aug. 29 regular city council meeting, council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Sherry Sullivan to enter into a contract with Daphne Utilities for a water connection project. The project will establish a linkage between Daphne Utilities and Fairhope Utilities water systems and increase Fairhope's capacity by 500,000 gallons of water in the event of an emergency.
This isn’t the first time the two cities have connected their water systems, according to Sullivan.
“We have done a temporary connection in the past but realized it might be a good idea to have a permanent connection for emergency purposes,” Sullivan said.
The connection won’t be a one-way street. Daphne Utilities will have the ability to pull water from the Fairhope system in case of an emergency as well. Each city will pay for the water used.
“The water we use will be metered, so we will only pay for what we use,” Sullivan said. “I am not sure if and when we will use it.”
The overall project cost council approved per the resolution is $35,873.20, but the total costs will be shared with Daphne Utilities. Sullivan said the connection will cost Fairhope “about $25,000.”
While the project does not have a set start date as of Aug. 30, Sullivan said she is waiting to confirm the timeline with Daphne Utilities.
“But we think about two weeks,” Sullivan said. “Once it gets started, it will only take about five days to complete.”
For Daphne Utilities, they also see this as an enhancement to their system.
“Partnering with our neighboring city to interconnect our water systems is a strategic move that enhances the resilience of both utilities. This collaboration ensures a reliable supply of water during emergencies, benefiting our communities by mitigating the impact of potential disruptions,” said Samantha Coppels, Daphne Utilities communications manager. “By sharing resources, we strengthen our collective ability to respond effectively to unforeseen situations. During Hurricane Sally, we were able to partner with a neighboring utility. The value of being able to provide assistance in times of emergency is immeasurable. We appreciate having options when emergency situations may arise at our utility as well.”