No, Baldwin County Sewer Service has not started running a sewer line under Fish River. The presence of BCSS personnel and equipment on the Honey Road side the river Tuesday morning alarmed residents who are trying to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing on a BCSS proposal to put a sewer line under the river.

Turns out, the BCSS equipment was there at the request of the Corps, said Jennifer Williams, spokesman for BCSS. The Corps received so many comments about the history of the area, including historical photos, that it decided an archeology survey was in order.

The Corps had an archeology crew on site for the survey, but asked BCSS to provide some equipment to help clear the site, Williams said. “We’re not digging anything up,” she said.

BCSS posted an explanation for the work on its Facebook page and its website. “We are not doing any work towards boring Fish River, and this does not mean that we will definitely bore the river in the future. We hope to be able to announce how those customers will be served going forward in the next two weeks,” the company said.

BCSS serves just under 100 customers on the west side of Fish River through lines that connect to Fairhope’s sewer system. That arrangement is scheduled to end in July when an agreement that resulted from a lawsuit settlement expires.

BCSS has said it sought the Corps permit because Fairhope terminated the agreement and it needed to go under the river to connect with sewer lines leading to its treatment plant outside Malbis. However, both sides have said they hope to work out an alternative solution. Residents have objected on the grounds of possible environmental damage if the sewer line ever leaks underground.