Black Warrior River locals seeing ‘lava-like water’ in their old wells

Local News
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala (WIAT) — People living off the Black Warriror River tell CBS 42 they’re seeing murky ground water coming through old wells and believe it’s linked to the pollution caused by an old mining operation. 

Many residents who have lived off the river for decades said they’re living their best life. 

“This is where I live and fish,” said Christopher Patton, who lives in Bluff Creek. 

The one thing neighbors don’t like is the orange, brown water that they’re finding in old well systems. 

“It was iron water coming out the ground, and it’s nasty for somebody for have to drink that stuff. I couldn’t imagine that, but i’m just glad it’s not in everybody’s water system,” said Patton.

According to the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, they’re going after Drummond Company for leaving old mine waste pile and causing pollution, which they said violates the Clean Water Act. 

“When all this started coming back and mines started shutting down, in 1972 maybe around there, fish went away. You couldn’t get no fish in that slew over there, and its bad,” said Gene Raney, who lives off the Black Warrior River. 

“I’ve seen it looking like lava coming out of the ground where old mines spilled, up I guess,” said Patton. 

Raney said this place is filled with people in the summer time. He worries how the pollution is affecting their health and lives. 

“A lot of kids come down and swim during summer and some of them get sick. The next day they’re sick. They’re fine that day and sick the next day for two or three days, and it’s not just once, it’s an occuring case, so there is something going on,” said Raney. 

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