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Sewage leak raises health concerns for residents near Shoal Creek

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Lauderdale County Health Department are investigating reports that a mobile home park is dumping sewage onto the ground, which could be flowing into the nearby creek.

Posted: Jun 15, 2021 1:44 PM

Residents who live near Shoal Creek in Florence are concerned about the possibility of sewage being dumped into the creek.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Lauderdale County Health Department are investigating reports that a mobile home park is dumping sewage onto the ground, which could be flowing into the nearby creek.

The creek has colorful green patches with objects floating at the surface.

The Lauderdale County Health Department has already investigated the surrounding land, but until the Alabama Department of Environmental Management tests the water, there's no one saying if it's from the sewage leak or if it's algae and debris.

"So right now we're waiting on ADEM to come and test this water and find out if that's what it is, kind of sewage or if this is something else," says Ralph Richey, a concerned citizen who lives in the area.

On Monday, the Lauderdale County Health Department investigated the area and wrote a notice saying the nearby Woodland Hills Mobile Home Park has 72 hours to fix a broken sewage pipe that neighbors say is spilling sewage onto the ground.

People who live near the creek are worried it's causing problems in the water.

"We've found dead fish, we've got a lot of color variation in the water that's floating down by the houses. So we're trying to get to the bottom of this and find out why they're pumping this on the ground and this water in Shoal Creek has changed and a lot of stuff is floating with it," says Richey.

The Woodland Hills Mobile Home Park did not want to comment on the sewage leak.

"If they can't get their pumping system to work, connect back in and not dump it on there, they need to shut the trailer park down. Because every time someone flushes a toilet, runs a sink or whatever, it's going, it's not going down the sewage line it's going down on the ground. And that is a health issue," says Richey.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management will be investigating the area and testing the water for contamination in the next couple of days. However, the health department told WAAY31 it could be difficult to find any contamination from the mobile home park because it would be so diluted by the time any sewage made it to the creek.

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