We're watching out for the city beneath our city.

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See how the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is meeting the challenges of aging infrastructure.

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You can't always see it. But it's here. Lurking beneath the surface. Ready to strike at any moment. In fact, it strikes nearly every time it rains.

There's a city under the city, and it's crumbling.

With some of our infrastructure installed as long ago as the late 1800s, most of it has run its course. And it’s not getting any younger.

It's old and worn out. And it's causing major problems like sanitary sewer overflows, service outages, and business disruptions.

If you like clean showers.
If you enjoy clean water.
If you want reliable sewer service.

We need to look out for what's below.

Safer water and reliable sewer service are cornerstones of public health. Without effective delivery of water and wastewater treatment, Mobile wouldn't function very well. Watch the video to see how MAWSS is looking out for what's below.

Some of our critical water and sewer infrastructure has reached or exceeded its useful life.

And though you can't see it, there's a lot to look out for below our streets, sidewalks, and homes.

Sewer Pipe
3,200 miles of sewer lines
Sewer Pipe Maintenance
2,200 miles of water lines
MAWSS Sanitary Sewer Cover
28,820 manholes

It's not just about fixing old pipes.
It's about keeping a precious resource flowing.

Mobile is fortunate to have a safe supply of drinking water. We also have ample access to bodies of water where people have enjoyed swimming and fishing for generations. To protect our water supply and safeguard public health, we need to fix our aging infrastructure now. Waiting could have serious consequences. In addition to broken water mains that trigger boil water orders, loss of service and business disruptions, the next generation of our children and grandchildren might not be able to enjoy this priceless natural resource. So instead of taking our water for granted, we're taking action.

You don’t realize how valuable water is until it’s gone. Just imagine life without:

Coffe Cup Shower Washing Machine Swimming Fish Faucet

Did You Know Mobile Has Two Different Sewer Systems?

Sanitary Sewers

MAWSS’ sanitary sewer system collects wastewater from homes and businesses and transports it in a closed system to a wastewater treatment plant where it is cleaned, treated and returned safely to the environment.

Storm Sewers

The City of Mobile’s storm drain system collects rainwater, usually on the side of the street, and transports it—untreated—to streams, rivers and eventually Mobile Bay.

The two shouldn't mix. That's why it's so important to make needed repairs to our aging infrastructure.

The sanitary sewer system is designed to carry wastewater only. During heavy rains, storm water infiltrates the sewer system, causing it to exceed capacity. This results in overflows. Although diluted, the wastewater then runs back into storm drains and flows untreated into creeks or streams.

Climate & Aging Infrastructure Cause Problems

Climate and Aging

What Happens If We Wait Too Long To Fix It?

Industry

Not doing anything about Mobile’s aging infrastructure will result in:

Mobile will be less attractive to business and industry, costing us jobs and hurting our economy. By fixing Mobile's aging infrastructure, we can create steady jobs—it's an investment in our city.

We’re On It. To Fix What’s Below It.

Men with Swere Pipe

MAWSS is taking a responsible approach through development of a master plan and cost of service study.

Investments in improvement projects have started, but much more is needed. Since 2014, MAWSS has spent more than $92 million on renewal and replacement of infrastructure. See full list of current and future projects underway to Keep Water Working.

Investments In Our Infrastructure

Investments in Infrastructure

What’s Your Responsibility?

There are many places where water can seep into sewer lines and cause problems, including lines that belong to property owners. It's your responsibility to maintain your sewer lateral that connects the pipes from your property to MAWSS’ sewer lines.

House Sewer System

What Else You Can Do To Help

You and your family help us Keep Water Working in our community by following these tips:

Sewer Pipe
Don’t pour cooking grease down the drain. Recycle it through MAWSS' It's Easy to Be Ungreasy program.
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Leaves
Keep stormwater drains clear of leaves, litter and other debris.
Toilet
Don’t use your toilet as a trashcan. Wet wipes, diapers, feminine products and dental floss go in the trash.
Learn More
Cap
Know where your clean-out cap is located and make sure it’s in good working order.
Learn More

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for infrastructure updates, street closing announcements, and other news about how we’re looking out for what’s below to Keep Water Working.

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