Lowndes County residents hoping for relief to sewage problem

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT
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HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - A stream of wastewater runs between two mobile homes in Hayneville, forcing residents to watch where they step. Sometimes they walk on cinder blocks to stay out of the sewage.

“I told the mayor about it,” said resident Charles Shine. “I called him on the phone and told him it running all down in my yard.”

Shine lives near an open sewage lagoon. He has long waited for a permanent solution, but in the meantime he has been packing dirt onto a mound to try and keep the sewage from spreading.

“I’ve been begging them to come fix it. They ain’t ever come fix it,” he said. “It just running out on the ground.”

Kids play basketball only a few feet away.

It is a health concern for people who live here, that is why the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are stepping in.

Just down the road, officials toured the property of Charlie Mae Holcomb. She said sewage has been backed up so bad it has come up through her bathtub and washing machine.

“I have been fighting and fighting since I been here, and I have gotten no result,” Holcomb said.

Her story has been picked up by journalists on national level. She explained she was even on “60 Minutes,” an aim to bring national attention to this issue. Still, she said she’s received no help.

“The only thing ever been done to this land or property was me and my husband and my children did,” she said.

While progress has been slow, the federal government is set to make an announcement Tuesday regarding a new rural water infrastructure plan to address these concerns.

Holcomb remains optimistic this could finally be her long-waited solution.

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