Pipeline Mattresses

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After years of debate and controversy, the underwater sewage pipeline fiasco is coming to an end.

Workers will be laying the last of several hundred concrete mattresses over the exposed portion of the line. Both the county and local residents are ready to move on.

Crews have about 10 more days of work, lowering 400 of the granite filled vinyl mattresses on top of the unprotected sewage pipeline.

The pipeline carries raw sewage to the treatment plant in Tyndall. The plans called for the pipeline to be buried four feet underneath the bottom of the bay, but when crews originally installed the pipe in the late ‘90s, a rocky bay bottom and strong currents forced them to leave about 1,500 feet of the line unprotected.

The dispute between the county and the builder wound up in front of a grand jury. County officials negotiated with environmental agencies for years before agreeing on the mattress plan.

After seven years and a lot of controversy with the bay county commission, it appears as though this issue is finally coming to an end.

The project to cover the unprotected pipeline with the mattresses costs the county about $1.3 million, but the commission says that's a small price to pay to protect the bay.

The county will continue to monitor the pipeline and make sure there are no more threats to the environment