Posted: Oct 3, 2023 6:55 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 3, 2023 7:17 PM CDT
From the West Alabama Newsroom–
The water and sewage issues in Lowndes County have been the subject of both national and local news reports.
A program designed to help address the situation is working to install free septic systems in as many rural homes as possible.
Signs have gone up around Lowndes County to let homeowners in rural areas of the county know about the opportunity to get a new septic system at their home — free of charge.
Sherry Bradley is the Executive Director of the Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program.
“If you need a septic tank system, we’re here. We have federal funding. It does not cost you anything,” said Bradley.
Bradley says exposure to raw sewage from homes with faulty septic systems — or no septic system at all — can put people’s health and safety at risk. It’s a problem the program is designed to help fix.
“The sewage has to go somewhere when you put it on the ground. And it’s going to our water table,” said Bradley.
“Homeowners don’t understand. Out of sight, out of mind. They’re running a pipe in the woods. They don’t see the affect of that. But when we take water samples we see the effect of that.”
“We need to take care of all our citizens with raw sewage on the ground because it is a health hazard,” said community activist Perman Hardy.
“And when you got a program here like BBUWP, you don’t have to live like that anymore.”
In addition to installing new septic systems — the program also routinely tests — and services those systems.
The Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program is funded — by USDA Rural Development — the CDC — and the US Treasury Department.