ADEM: Over 800,000 gallons of untreated sewage leaked in Decatur

Updated: Dec. 31, 2019 at 9:21 PM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Outdated infrastructure and heavy rainfall is causing sewage to overflow across Decatur.

Last week, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management recorded the largest overflow to date from Decatur Utilities.

The records show that more than 800,000 gallons of untreated sewage was leaked into the streets, creeks and ditches of Decatur.

Decatur Utilities and city officials say they’re fixing the problem, but they say it takes time to fix hundreds of miles of out-of-date pipes.

“Unfortunately, it’s just something that can’t be just immediately taken care of, but I do believe they are on the right track of doing it," said Decatur City Council President Paige Bibbee. “I’m not taking up for them. I do think that when this happens they should be appropriately by fined by ADEM and they were."

Decatur Utilities management says they are and have been addressing this issue.

They sent us a statement saying, “DU disagrees with any assertion that it is not aggressively addressing SSOs. DU would like for our customers to know that we take any SSO very seriously, and as such, has invested over $60 million dollars within the past ten (10) years to improve wastewater system infrastructure and we remain fully committed to continued improvements of the wastewater collection system in an effort to reduce/eliminate future SSOs, while remaining mindful of our customers and sewer rates.”

Mayor Tab Bowling talked with our news partners at the Decatur Daily, but referred us to Decatur Utilities.

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