Sewage spill threat to Demopolis subsides

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said Tuesday that a Uniontown sewage spill has been corrected and that any threat to Demopolis and the Black Warrior River has begun to subside.

A week ago, ADPH confirmed that sewage from the City of Uniontown’s sewage system had been and was overflowing to Cottonwood Creek.

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

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Later in the week, scientists with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) mobilized 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.

Scott Hughes, a spokesman for ADEM said his agency continues to provide oversight to the cleanup efforts in the Uniontown area but noted that repairs on the city’s lift station – which had been pinpointed as the cause of the spill – had been completed.

“There should be no continuing discharges to Cottonwood Creek,” he said.

Hughes added that bacteria that might have flowed into the area, including the Black Warrior River, are still cause for concern and advised anyone using the water near the spill area to continue to use caution and proper hand washing and fish cooking methods.

“Over a period of time, the river system will return to its normal state,” he said. “It’s hard to speculate how long because you have to take in to account rainfall and a lot of other variables.”