Uniontown spill may float to Demopolis

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday that sewage from the City of Uniontown’s sewage system has been and is overflowing to Cottonwood Creek.

Cottonwood Creek flows into Prairie Creek and from there, on to the Black Warrior River above Demopolis.

Scientists with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) mobilized Friday in response to a sewage release in Uniontown. The mobilization efforts followed citizen complaints about discolored and foul-smelling water in Freetown Creek and Chilatchee Creek.

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The Health Department Tuesday urged residents to exercise caution if using these bodies of water, to thoroughly cook any fish caught nearby and wash hands after coming in contact with the water or fish.

Scott Hughes, a spokesman for ADEM said the agency, “performed field observations and documented visual impacts to water quality in both Freetown Creek and Chilatchee Creek. The negative water quality impacts were documented for a distance of nearly 20 miles downstream from the City of Uniontown wastewater treatment plant…”

Drinking water in the area has not been impacted.

In the meantime, ADEM has issued a Cease and Desist Order to the City of Uniontown to address not only the discharge but to also initiate efforts to cleanup and remediate property.