TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Environmental Management filed a lawsuit against the City of Tuscaloosa alleging the city dumped millions of gallons of sewage into the Black Warrior River.
Crystal Taylor likes to go jogging everyday along the river at Manderson Landing. She said she is very concerned about the allegations of millions of gallons polluting the river.
“And to know the water is being contaminated and the wildlife and people who live out here, it’s very sad and scary,” Taylor said.
Eva Dillard is the staff attorney for Black Warrior Riverkeeper. It’s a nonprofit that advocates for waterways all over Alabama. Dillard said since 2017, 42 million gallons of sewage leaked into the river. The ADEM filed a lawsuit this week against the City of Tuscaloosa, and she is hoping the city is held accountable.
“The Tuscaloosa system is plagued by leaking sewers and leaking manholes and failing lift stations,” Dillard said. “Since 2017 alone, we’ve cataloged over 42 million gallons of sewage either through sanitary overflows or other malfunctions.”
CBS 42 reached out to the City of Tuscaloosa to get a comment on camera, but officials gave a written statement instead.
“The City is working alongside ADEM to expand and enhance our water & sewer system to continually meet the needs of Tuscaloosa’s rapidly growing population,” the City of Tuscaloosa wrote. “Tuscaloosa is committed to having the best-in-class water quality and will continue to maintain the highest levels of transparency.”
Dillard said her organization is evaluating options and is considering possibly filing its own lawsuit.