Repairs are underway after a rural Alabama sewer leak affected bodies of water in Hale and Perry counties. The spill was reported by timber companies in the area whose workers noticed the color of the water had changed.
According to The Tuscaloosa News, lumberjacks called the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to investigate, which is when officials discovered sewage had been overflowing into Cottonwood Creek. The creek drains into two other nearby waterways, Prairie Creek and Black Warrior River.
Because illness-causing bacteria such as E. coli, hepatitis and salmonella could potentially be in the water, the ADPH issued warnings to the community to not go near the affected areas until they are clean.
John Strother, environmental supervisor for Dallas, Perry and Wilcox counties for the ADPH, told The Tuscaloosa News that, although the area is fairly rural, there are cattle farmers and people in the timber business who fish and use the bodies of water. Those individuals are asked to be careful about eating fish from the water. Residents are permitted to drink treated water.
Residents in Mobile, Alabama, were also given warning after a April 30 sewage spill released almost 4,200-gallons of raw sewage into Three Mile Creek. According to the Press-Register, the Mobile Area Water & Sewer System believes tree roots in a main line caused the sewer pipe to overflow.