LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Leaders with the Alabama Department of Public Health met with Lowndes County residents Tuesday to discuss applications for an unincorporated wastewater program.
About 75 applications were submitted, according to the Bureau of Environmental Services Director Sherry Bradley.
Residents approved for the program will receive a new septic tank system at the cost of just one down payment. That cost is determined by the type of system they need," Bradley said. Then, owners will be responsible for maintenance payments of $20 a month.
“Every house we’ve been to, at least 80 percent, they have a straight pipe,” Bradley explained, “which means the pipe goes out the door. They flush the toilet, the sewage is on top of the ground. Or the system was put in illegally and it’s not working.”
Sewage issues have plagued the county’s rural areas for years. In October, Hollywood star Jane Fonda came to Alabama with the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, an organization that works to improve inadequate sewage systems in rural parts of the United States.
Fonda announced the group’s expansion to several rural communities throughout the U.S., including Lowndes County, where 30 percent of the county’s citizens are living below the poverty line and don’t have access to clean water.
For any other Lowndes residents asking about the program, please call ADPH at 334-206-5375