. - The Alabama Department of Public Health is teaming up with local medical partners in Lowndes County and traveling to different homes as part of a community survey.
Lowndes County Commission Chairman, Carnell McAlpine, admits raw sewage issues plagued the area.
"We get complaints. I get complaints personally. People say someone's sewage is running on their property or someone's sewage in running in their yard," said Carnell McAlpine.
He says the main thing causing the problem is inadequate or nonexistent septic systems.
"It creates unsanitary conditions for the neighborhood, families, children," said McAlpine.
For those that live outside city limits they face some major challenges because of the blackbelt soil.
"When you have a soil that has a lot of clay content it requires a much more expensive type of septic tank. It requires an engineered system. So for people who are impoverished it's not an option," said Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer.
From Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., surveyors will be asking Lowndes County residents questions about general household water and sewage practices, household illnesses, and illness prevention practice.
"What we would like to do is characterize the problem and figure out how many people are in this situation," said Harris.
According to the ADPH, the houses will be chosen at random, and surveyors will have on ID badges to verify who they are with. The purpose of the surveys is to help government leaders determine the health status and basic needs of the communities the ADPH serves.
"Please speak with them. Give them as much information as you can and I promise you we will use that information," said Harris.
"I think it will be very beneficial. We are waiting to see what happens," said McAlpine.
The ADPH says the survey should take between 10 and 15 minutes.
These community surveys are not uncommon. ADPH has done community surveys most recently in Madison and Baldwin Counties.