Alabama Neighborhoods With Raw Sewage Flooding Spark Racial Equality Investigation

  
Via:  CB  •  7 months ago  •  227 comments

By:   Yahoo

Alabama Neighborhoods With Raw Sewage Flooding Spark Racial Equality Investigation
Residents in Lowndes County, and in other rural areas in Alabama, are victims of inhumane living conditions; 40 percent of homes in the county have inadequate or no sewage systems. With a mostly Black population, it has a poverty rate of 22 percent—double the amount of the national average. The Justice Department launched an investigation in November to figure out if the Lowndes County Health Department has been discriminating against Black residents.

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Lowndes County's Raw Sewage Problem | ACRE (Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise)


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Residents in Lowndes County, and in other rural areas in Alabama, are victims of inhumane living conditions; 40 percent of homes in the county have inadequate or no sewage systems. With a mostly Black population, it has a poverty rate of 22 percent—double the amount of the national average. The Justice Department launched an investigation in November to figure out if the Lowndes County Health Department has been discriminating against Black residents.

Since plumbing systems in the houses of the inhabitants aren't working—or are incorrectly tied into the county systems—they are forced to pump sewage into holes in their yards. Using PVC pipes to transport waste from homes into these holes is commonly referred to as 'straight piping.' Alternately, residents can opt to pay for sewage to be pumped to lagoons in close proximity to their homes since state and local governments failed to install a centralized sewage system.

Such horrible conditions come with a health risk. According to the Baylor College of Medicine and the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise, 1 out of 3 adults in Lowndes County has tested positive for intestinal parasites called hookworms. They have been exposed by walking barefoot on soil that contains infected feces. Waste problems have been an issue the county has dealt with for years.

The Justice Department held its first public meetings in the county earlier this month. Ozelle Hubert, head of the Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, expressed his concern. "Whether it's discrimination, direct or indirect, the net result is we need a waste management system," he explained. "We need a treatment center in this town to address the issues, and it is a health care problem."

In responses to cases like the one in Lowndes County, the Biden administration has requested $1.4 million from Congress to open an environmental justice office within the Justice Department.


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CB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  CB     7 months ago
Since plumbing systems in the houses of the inhabitants aren't working—or are incorrectly tied into the county systems—they are forced to pump sewage into holes in their yards. Using PVC pipes to transport waste from homes into these holes is commonly referred to as 'straight piping.' Alternately, residents can opt to pay for sewage to be pumped to lagoons in close proximity to their homes since state and local governments failed to install a centralized sewage system.

A red-state 'shit-hole' representation? Say it isn't so! Conservatives don't do this kind of thing to its citizens, do they? An example of systemic racism? Can't be under republican controlled politics, can it?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1    7 months ago
A red-state 'shit-hole' representation? Say it isn't so! Conservatives don't do this kind of thing to its citizens, do they?

Exactly, that never happened when it was a solid blue state.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1    7 months ago

Because we all know that Georgia didn't exist before 2003 when Republicans finally took control.

I mean this problem simply sprang up overnight. They didn't have sewer systems before 2003. Those nasty Republicans installed sewer systems and never bothered connecting major areas. I am sure Democrats will fix this problem as soon as they are allowed to get control./S

What began in the 1970s as a small utility with just 200 connections, Lowndes County Utility Department in Valdosta, Georgia, has grown into a burgeoning operation with 178 miles of sewer lines . However, the expansion has not been without growing pains, which ultimately left the water utility working off antiquated monitoring and control systems for their water towers and wastewater collection pumps. Among those challenges was the monitoring and control system’s inability to clearly identify the type and priority of an alarm, leading to frequent call-outs and false alarms.

“It was hard to identify the importance of the alarm because of the poor communication and lack of clear priority from the auto-dialer system,” said Steve Stalvey, utilities director for Lowndes County. 

The inability for Lowndes County Utility Department to remotely access its former SCADA network from mobile devices also contributed to more frequent call-outs, as employees had to travel to the physical location to identify and deactivate each false alarm. The former system often generated two false alarms per week. At a cost of $75 per hour to dispatch a technician to respond to the alarm and a minimum of two hours per call-out, the utility was incurring thousands of dollars each year in maintenance costs.

Lowndes County Utility Department also lacked the ability to adapt the monitoring and control system in the field. To enable or update a control feature, the utility had to contact the supplier directly. Additionally, replacement parts had become increasingly difficult to find and much of the original system was obsolete. Leadership with Lowndes County Utility Department recognized the need to modernize operations, update wastewater collections monitoring and control systems, and collect better data through the Internet of Things (IoT).

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1    7 months ago

Ah--you know the drill--blame the GOP for what Democrats did, then pretend that Democrats know how to fix the mess they helped to create.

And when all else fails, pull out the trusty old race card.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
1.1.3  zuksam  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1.1    7 months ago

Services cost money and that money comes from property taxes and sewer fees. My town just replaced the wastewater treatment facility at a cost of 65 million, the town took out a loan and my taxes went up 300 bucks and my sewer fees went up 20 percent. It sucks to pay but my toilet flushes and I don't have a disease-ridden open cesspool in my yard. I'm still responsible for the pipe on my property and 15 years ago I had to have it dug up because roots kept growing into the pipe joints and plugging the pipe. It kept happening so often I even bought my own roto rooter machine. I just got sick of doing it, so I bit the bullet and paid 3 grand to have the joints dug up. All they did was wrap the joints in copper sheet metal, apparently the roots don't like copper and I haven't had a problem since. Knock on Wood!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.4  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1    7 months ago

Quickly enlighten me when in the last oh say "fifty years or so" has Alabama been any type of blue state? Maybe you mean Lowndes county control?

I will admit when I heard about this on the news (Friday) I was so taken aback that I want to address it immediately in discussion. That said, I realize many questions are out there to be answered as to what leads to this, virtual "shit-holes," being allowed to open to the air and festering.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.5  seeder  CB   replied to  Ronin2 @1.1.1    7 months ago

Residents in Lowndes County, and in other rural areas in Alabama, are victims of inhumane living conditions. AL-A-BAM-A. Yes, there is an Lowndes County, Georgia. But, this county is in Alabama.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1.1.4    7 months ago
many questions are out there to be answered as to what leads to this, virtual "shit-holes," being allowed to open to the air and festering.

Well, you sure seemed quick to blame conservatives.

Do conservatives control Lowndes County?

Or is it progressive liberals?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.7  seeder  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    7 months ago

****

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.8  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.4    7 months ago
Quickly enlighten me when in the last oh say "fifty years or so" has Alabama been any type of blue state?

Fifty years ago was 1972, fifty years or so might take us back to the mid-60's.  From 1965 to 2003, Alabama had 8 dem governors and 2 repub governors.  Dem controlled the Alabama State House and the Senate until 2011.

I'm happy to enlighten you any time that you're open to enlightenment, CB.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1.1.7    7 months ago

Well now, that certainly makes no sense. Use your words!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.10  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.8    7 months ago

Thank you for this rather 'curious' set of dates you constructed. Not sure why you felt it necessary to parse the timeline in this manner. BTW, I was being a 'smart ass' by throwing the last "fifty years" rhetoric back at conservatives. But, whatever.

I forgot one thing. This is the heart of the  segregationist South (case in point: Gov. George Wallace Elections: (Democrat) '71/'74/'83): “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever”) where folks are taught to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps' even when the system won't supply them any boot-laces!

So fifty years ago, a "southern Democrat" is best situated with today's republican party. (Since the Democratic party has 'abandoned' these "rugged individualist types" out of its political platform.)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.11  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.10    7 months ago
Not sure why you felt it necessary to parse the timeline in this manner.

You picked the last fifty years or so.  

I forgot one thing.

No, you assumed one thing or believed the urban legend that the south went red right after the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

So fifty years ago, a "southern Democrat" is best situated with today's republican party.

Most southern Democrats from fifty years ago are now dead.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.12  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.11    7 months ago

Actually, I had pictured in my mind the presidential cycle voting history of Alabama as a red-state stronghold. And Drinker', of course individuals die out! The philosophy of the "southern democrat" has been incorporated into the Republican/Conservative party apparatus.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.13  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.12    7 months ago
I had pictured in my mind the presidential cycle voting history of Alabama as a red-state stronghold.

That's the wrong picture when you looking at internal county services.

the philosophy of the "southern democrat" political think has been incorporated into the Republican/Conservative party apparatus

Why should I think that you know any more about that than who is responsible for county services or who has led the state for most of the last fifty years?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.14  Texan1211  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.13    7 months ago

Yeah, but then he would have to assign blame where it belongs instead of ranting about white conservatives!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.15  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.14    7 months ago

CB's assumptions and bias hit the floor with a loud thump.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.16  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.13    7 months ago

Why don't you know where "rugged individualists" in the South are politically today?  A chief complain of conservatives about liberals is their choice of collectivist-thinking over individualist-thinking. (Though our nation is more of a hybrid on all accounts.)

Anyway, I can't believe I have not had coffee yet. Be back soon! Coffee time.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.17  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1.1.16    7 months ago

You keep digressing instead of addressing how the county keeps electing liberals who fail them.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.18  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.16    7 months ago
Anyway, I can't believe I have not had coffee yet. Be back soon! Coffee time.

That probably accounts for the fuzzy thinking.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.19  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.13    7 months ago

Actually, some of this planning and financial development programs happen at the state administrative level and in state legislatures. Depends on interests, rules, and regulations, and not in that order!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1.1.19    7 months ago
Actually, some of this planning and financial development programs happen at the state administrative level and in state legislatures. Depends on interests, rules, and regulations, and not in that order!

And actually, some of this planning and financial development programs happen at the county and city levels.

Some of it depends on who people in those counties vote into office.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.21  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.15    7 months ago

Maybe so. I did write that I as "taken aback" by the story I saw just yesterday (Friday) on this. So it's a bit of an impulse, I will admit. However, do not kid yourself. The implication that these are people with political power, but not the political will and financial resources to get up and fix this belies the history of Alabama politics. I am a great many things - politically unsophisticated is not one of them.

It's a good subject. I am glad you have chosen (and others) to help me undertake it. :) I will be calmed or enraged by what we 'discover' together on this nasty situation in a rural part of Alabama!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.22  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.18    7 months ago

Keep jrSmiley_76_smiley_image.gif Drinker'! It gets better the deeper you-we go!  jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.23  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.19    7 months ago
Actually, some of this planning and financial development programs happen at the state administrative level and in state legislatures.

Apparenty not during the hundred years or so that Dems controlled the state.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.24  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.21    7 months ago
60 American Minutes covered it several months ago.

and financial resources to get up and fix this belies the history of Alabama politics.

Alabama is a poor state.  My father lives in a semi-rural part of PA.  He was on a septic tank until the county put in a sewage line.  His individual cost was $22,000 over 10 years.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.25  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.23    7 months ago

You mean the 'segregationists democrats'? Those in leadership who do not think of minorities in 'back-handed' fashion? Those "dems"? Nah, they were no help then and now wherever they are. Note: It's interesting to me to watch you "dumb down" this issue. I'm seeing you in a somewhat different 'light' The dualism you display is startling. If you are obfuscating that is wholesale wrong. If you are being dismissive, you're part of the problem.

Shit on the ground in open air areas is a health crisis and however these folks are found to be ending up poor and in possession of property - government exist to remedy health crises and we all should be onboard with this. Especially now, as we know (pandemic and other) diseases can be found in wastewater and associated surfaces and seepage.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.26  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.24    7 months ago
Alabama is a poor state

This is concerning to me. Alabama and Mississippi are both poor states. It is exasperating to think about that. This is the United States! The most powerful country in the history of the world and the most financially viable. And yet, Alabama and the other take no responsibility for being 'rutted' and ass-backward socially in the larger scheme of this country. It is almost as if Alabama relishes this 'sorry' distinction (poverty-ridden) for itself!

Who is financially holding back Alabama from rising out of its low state ranking? We would love to see this not be the case for this state.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.27  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.25    7 months ago
You mean the 'segregationists democrats'?

I understand that there is more segregation in housing and public schools in the North and the West Coast than the South.  I read that there is a Black Reverse Migration underway.  How many Black people have fled the SF Bay Area and LA?

It's interesting to me to watch you "dumb down" this issue.

How do you think that I’ve done that?

government exist to remedy health crises and we all should be onboard with this.

Does Biden’s Infrastructure Bill address this infrastructure problem?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.28  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.27    7 months ago

Yes. See @4.2.7

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.29  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.28    7 months ago

Yes. See @4.2.7

Yes what?  4.2.7. doesn’t address: 

- segregation 

- why you think that I’ve dumbed this down

- is the Biden Infrastructure Bill addressing this 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.30  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.29    7 months ago

the government is putting 1.5 thereabout million into investigating what is the root cause of the failure to delay getting these specific groups of citizens the health care they deserve as a right of citizenship. And the government is helping fund did it say 2 million dollars thereabouts to get some 'starter' septic tank project or projects up and running, but it's hit a bureaucratic 'snag' as mentioned in the comments..

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1.31  Ronin2  replied to  CB @1.1.5    7 months ago

I am sorry, you are correct. I have trucks delivering 5 to 10 loads a day to Lowndes County, GA- so I automatically think about them when Lowndes County is mentioned.

Lowndes County, AL is completely different. It is a Democratic run shit hole and bastion of stupidity.

Why not ask the local officials that are all Democrats about the deplorable conditions that African Americans have to live under there?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.32  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.30    7 months ago
And the government is helping fund did it say 2 million dollars thereabouts to get some 'starter' septic tank project or projects up and running, but it's hit a bureaucratic 'snag' as mentioned in the comments..

Bureaucratic 'snag' or county mismanagement?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.33  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.32    7 months ago

Still working to understand that one myself. The more I learn . . . happens in real time on this one! Tell you what I challenge you and me to get to the 'bottom' of this and whichever one of does so the quickest and discloses to the group what the "h" is going on in this county> hard facts:chilled:no catcher<wins a virtual trophy! And the non-winner gets to announce the success of the other!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.34  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.32    7 months ago

I think I have found something: But first,

Apparently, the DOJ is still investigating. . . and "the parties" and agencies involved are "suspending" public comment up to and touching Governor Ivey's office. This is time-sensitive though. Because my info is from 2021. Let's get started.

Fight continues to tackle sewage problems across Black Belt

"The Black Belt, as you know, is named as such because of the rich black fertile soil. But it's that very soil that creates some of the problems for homeowners," said Parrish Pugh, environmental director for the Alabama Department of Public Health for a number of Black Belt counties.

"Some of the areas of clay don't tend to take water very well and as many people who live there know, it has tendency to shrink, well and crack and it moves a lot. That high clay content does not lend itself very well to water absorption. Hence, on-site septic systems don't work well in it at all. That really creates a problem for the homeowner on a limited budget."

Conventional systems cost around $3,000, but many residents need engineered systems, which can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000.

"People can't afford the massive cost. Poor families can't afford it and even for a working class family, if the system costs $15,000-16,000, to have to come up with that kind of money at one time, that doesn't happen," Flowers said .

The Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise conducted a door-to-door survey about sewage and sanitation in the county and estimates that there are at least 1,000 homes in Lowndes County without no septic system at all and that more than half of residents are living without one or with failing systems, either because they can't afford to fix it or they can't find one that works with the soil. The Center for Rural Enterprise's research indicates that 75 percent of septic systems in the Black Belt are currently failing, expected to fail in the future or are non-existent.

The law requires that every home or business in the state of Alabama have a properly permitted means of sewage disposal. Residents with on-site systems have to go through their local health department. There are steps they have to take in order to evaluate their site and make sure the proper system is put in to serve their home.

As for city sewer systems, they are regulated through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The agency makes sure the systems are adequately sized and maintained in order to accommodate the high volume of sewage coming in on a daily basis.

When the Alabama Department of Public Health receives a complaint that someone is not in compliance, they locate the site and meet with the property owner and assess the situation to determine if it's a valid complaint or not. If it is a valid violation, they issue a notice. Normally with on-site sewage systems, the homeowner is given a 30-day notice to correct the situation and work from there with the permitting process -- either a permit to repair an existing system or for a new septic system installation if it's a new location.

Continued noncompliance could result in legal action, per the law.

"Our whole goal in this is to bring this to a resolution not only for members of the community but for the people themselves there in that home- them, their children and their family," Pugh said. "We have a tendency to work with them. As long as they're working with us, we'll work with them because we want it brought to a resolution that's acceptable by both parties."

Sherry Bradley, director of ADPH's Bureau of Environmental Services, issued this statement:

"Homeowners make the choice to build or place a private dwelling on their land. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that adequate sewage disposal is available, that can be tying on to public sewer or having an onsite sewage disposal system installed (some call this a septic tank system).

Some soils are better to build or place a private dwelling on; however, the Black Belt soils have been determined to be the worst type soil in placing these disposal systems. The majority of the time, homeowners will have to have an engineered system installed.

The Health Department is concerned with educating first, that's why a Notice of Violation will be issued when a violation is found and a more than adequate time frame is given to remediate the situation. If the problem is not remediated, then legal action is pursued."

Solutions to the sewage problems have been hard to come by.

"There is no easy answer and I think if there were an easy answer, it would have been fixed," said State Sen. Hank Sanders. "That's not something you can put on a county commission in my opinion or the small town or the state. This is a disaster and usually disasters are dealt with by the federal government. It's a unique combination that is hard to find a solution to. It's something we've been struggling with for years and I have not been able to find a source of funding to hel p. "

A big mess. I seem to find myself now documenting a decade long 'running mess,' pun not intended.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.1.35  pat wilson  replied to  CB @1.1.34    7 months ago
"Homeowners make the choice to build or place a private dwelling on their land. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that adequate sewage disposal is available

That seems to be the bottom line. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.36  seeder  CB   replied to  pat wilson @1.1.35    7 months ago

Yeah, you're right. But. If the issue is 'pat' and the family needs to just sell and move. Or just move away: Why is the case still in review by DOJ civil rights division? What am I (we) missing about the law here? Why is DOJ suggesting there is federal funding in abeyance to help? And, investigating Alabama Department of Health for possible error/s?

There just may be something in the law that makes this unique situation winnable for these families, plural.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.37  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.36    7 months ago
Why is the case still in review by DOJ civil rights division?

Still?  The case started in Nov and there is no average time established for these kinds of investigations.  This investigation is a test case  of the first Title VI environmental justice investigation for one of the department’s funding recipients.  Environmental justice concerns haven’t gotten previous attention because the legal standards are higher than for other civil rights cases.  I don't know if the investigation finds illegal discrimination but I'm sure that it will find a: 

  • Low tax base
  • Low population density (rural house dispersion)
  • Few cities and towns large enough to support traditional sewer treatment
  • Soil condition decrease effectiveness of most onsite systems (septic tanks and drain fields)
  • Solutions might cost more than the property is worth

I wonder why no one has a composting toilet like "Nature's Head"? It is a is a “dry toilet” and needs no water for flushing. It's economical to operate and it needs no costly chemicals. Two gallons of spagnum peat moss or coconut coir and electrical power is all that is required.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.38  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.37    7 months ago

Nature's Head? Took a look at it. Interesting. And these are "country folks" so they should be okay, at least for a period of time, with something like that. If it does wnat it promises.

As for the civil rights-heatlh related investigation, I must wait for more information to 'drop.' I, too, wonder why so long a time to get a report.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.39  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @1.1.36    7 months ago

This just...isn't a racial thing.  Where I live in Virginia, it is extremely rare to get a permit for a conventional septic system.  You have to install an engineered system, if you aren't on a municipal sewer system.  And if you live outside of town limits, which I do, you're not on municipal sewer or water.  You have a well and a septic system, probably an expensive engineered one.  It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with where you choose to live and the responsibilities of being a homeowner.  I could give up the expense of my septic and well maintenance if I chose to live in town limits, but I like my space and quiet and hate the taste of municipal water, so I'm staying put, and maintaining my expensive septic system.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.40  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.39    7 months ago

Thank you Sandy. This is just the kind of insight I am hoping to personally receive and for this discussion to encounter!  I remember seeing pictures of your home and surroundings this past January. A nice memory for me.

The insight I get from your comment is this "unique" black belt soil in Lowndes County, Alabama, has its matches in other parts of the country.  That speaks to the equity of the problem faced by people who really need 'high-end" engineered systems. In this case, poor people who can't afford to follow 'code' should move away or go into the urban development zones.

Now let me play devil's advocate: Is this how change comes to undeveloped or underdeveloped areas? A group of long-term residents devoted to the area go to the authorities and plead their case for advancement and construction?

I guess I am asking (from a great distance away and with city sewage lines to boot) why the feds have taken up these citizen's complaint, and why one state senator sees the "complexity"of a problem that is solvable by simply moving away?

"There is no easy answer and I think if there were an easy answer, it would have been fixed," said State Sen. Hank Sanders. "That's not something you can put on a county commission in my opinion or the small town or the state. This is a disaster and usually disasters are dealt with by the federal government. It's a unique combination that is hard to find a solution to. It's something we've been struggling with for years and I have not been able to find a source of funding to help.

"A source of funding to help." And interesting position to take. Is the Senator just being nice?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.41  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.40    7 months ago
why the feds have taken up these citizen's complaint

It provides a test case for a new interpretation of environmental law?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.42  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @1.1.40    7 months ago
Now let me play devil's advocate: Is this how change comes to undeveloped or underdeveloped areas? A group of long-term residents devoted to the area go to the authorities and plead their case for advancement and construction?

Possibly, but not necessarily.  Rural areas are never going to have the amenities of municipalities, but that does not mean they are "underdeveloped".  My sewage is treated, but not by a municipality.  My tap has water, but it comes from a private well.  My property is "developed", but not by a town government.

Many of the properties shown were "developed", but not maintained.  Some showed homes with municipal sewer systems, with connections to those sewer systems not maintained by the homeowner.  In pretty much any city, it is the homeowner who maintains the connection to the water or sewer systems, not the city.  If you have a problem on the "house" side of the water meter, it's your problem to fix.  If you have a sewer line in your yard that is somehow damaged between the main line and your foundation, it's your problem to fix.  The city maintains the service and charges for it, but doesn't maintain your property for you.

As far as why the feds have taken it up - well, it's been in the news.  It's optics.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.43  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.41    7 months ago

"citizens' complaint." I correct myself. :) 

My next 'stop' on this journey is DOJ itself. I want to understand what, if anything, DOJ is allowing out to the publc-and it must be 2022 current and relevant.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.44  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.42    7 months ago

Out of 'nowhere' we started getting that kind of a letter from an out of state company wanting to offer sewage line insurance from house to street. I thought to myself: What is it, now?!

I ignored the 'line insurance,'  maybe twice already, because I am so tired of all the 'subscriptions' attaching to me and my family. But, now I am thinking about it.

See? Discussion does us all good! As we can learn from each other. :)  Clean across the country. BTW, the offer of line insurance seems to come from a company in the mid-west or east coast. I just assumed that our conditions are not the same, because of climate and that they are looking for say people with septic tanks or something or other. Also, we are a 'dry' climate mostly now.

I have had my city explain to me at least two things I did not need to insure:  1. Flood (Yay!) insurance not required as we are out of a flood zone, and 2. we do not have underground septic tanks in this suburb. (I found that out when I wanted to regularly use "RID X" - don't have to do that.)

I will call the city municipal water department first thing Monday and ask is this (cheap) subscription needed.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.45  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @1.1.44    7 months ago

When a new neighbor bought the large parcel of land that is accessed by a right-of-way through my land, he was told by his realtor that he could install a fairly cheap conventional septic system.  I told him that nobody in this neighborhood had qualified for that, and that he should proceed with his purchase with caution, if a conventional septic system was a deal-breaker for him.

He bought the land.  And found out that he couldn't install a conventional septic system.  It would have to be an engineered one, like everyone else in our subdivision.  The perc (percolation) test administered by the county determines that, not the realtor who wants to make a sale.

So he owns 39 acres and hasn't built anything there except a pole barn for lumber with no plumbing to house his business.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.46  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.45    7 months ago
He bought the land. 

Anyway?!!! Without checking out your experienced information offered freely?! Wow. Wow. Wow. I can imagine the face you make when you share this story! :)

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.47  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @1.1.46    7 months ago

He was fed a line by somebody who was financially motivated to stretch the truth. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.48  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.47    7 months ago

Yeah. Sad. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. You tried to warn him.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Masters Quiet
1.1.49  Jack_TX  replied to  CB @1.1.36    7 months ago
Why is the case still in review by DOJ civil rights division?

That's actually a fair question.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.50  Trout Giggles  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.45    7 months ago

39 acres? Wow, you Virginians are strict. A property owner who owns 10 or more acres in Arkansas is exempt from getting a permit...BUT....if said owner wants to tie on to public water, he has to show he has viable septic system otherwise the water department won't give him water. He could also drill a private well but that has its own unique problems

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.51  sandy-2021492  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.50    7 months ago

You have no idea.  Right across the state line in WV, I'm sure the geology is the same, but everyone has a conventional septic.

In his case, his septic would likely drain into the stream that forms the property line between my land and his, which feeds into a neighbor's pond and possibly into their water table, so I can kinda see this being legit.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.52  Trout Giggles  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.51    7 months ago

I would hate to see his septic flowing into a stream. He needs a real on-site waste water disposal system

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.53  sandy-2021492  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.52    7 months ago

He doesn't produce any sewage now.  No toilet facilities at his place. He had a portapotty there for a while, but it caught fire. Spontaneous combustion, he said.  Had nothing to do with the fact that he leaves piles of scrap lumber burning unsupervised jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.54  Trout Giggles  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.53    7 months ago

I remember that story

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.55  sandy-2021492  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.54    7 months ago

Yeah, that neighbor.  I wish he'd get a well drilled, so he has water to put his fires out.

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
1.1.56  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.45    7 months ago

What is the difference in cost? And, where I live all septic systems require an engineers stamp.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.57  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thomas @1.1.56    7 months ago

It varies quite a bit.  I've heard anywhere from 10 grand to 30 grand to install a system, and there are several types.  Mine is a peat moss system.  A friend has a system that uses the liquid to irrigate her yard after treating it (I have no idea of the details there, but she's been told the water is potable).  Last time I had a conventional septic installed, it was under 5 grand, but that was in WV, where most things are cheaper.

 
 
 
gooseisback
Sophomore Silent
1.1.58  gooseisback  replied to  CB @1.1.30    7 months ago
1.5 thereabout million into investigating

What the fuck is there to investigate, use the 1.5 to build a fucking treatment plant. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.59  seeder  CB   replied to  gooseisback @1.1.58    7 months ago

I partially agree with you. It will cost more than 1.5 million most likely to build the wastewater plant, nevertheless.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.60  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.59    7 months ago

From where are you getting your cost data?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.61  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.60    7 months ago

"Most likely," did you read that in the comment? It's there. I have no idea the cost of building a waste water system in Lowndes County, Alabama!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.62  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.61    7 months ago
"Most likely," did you read that in the comment?

No, I didn't.

I have no idea the cost of building a waste water system in Lowndes County, Alabama!

Is it likely that one in the county is sufficient?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.63  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.62    7 months ago

Well, "most likely" is in there. And, you could do your own cost analysis, eh?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.64  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.1.63    7 months ago

No, I haven't advocated that there is an affordable solution.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1    7 months ago
Can't be under republican controlled politics, can it ?

A little research never hurt anyone.

Lowndes County, Alabama - Wikipedia

Like all of the Black Belt, Lowndes County is powerfully Democratic. The only Republican to carry the county since   1900   was   Barry Goldwater   in   1964 . In that year, most of the county's black majority was still prevented from voting. Opposition by the voting white minority to civil rights had resulted in the national Democratic candidate,   Lyndon Johnson , being excluded from the ballot in the state.

Even after congressional passage of the   Voting Rights Act of 1965 , black registration was so slow that segregationist   George Wallace   comfortably carried the county in   1968 . Since then, the Democratic presidential candidate has carried Lowndes in every election. In   1972 , Lowndes was one of six former Wallace counties [a]   to vote for   George McGovern   in 1972 against   Richard Nixon 's 3,000-plus-county landslide.

As of 2014, Lowndes County has a five-member county commission, elected from   single-member districts . The county sheriff is elected as well.
 
 
 
Jasper2529
Professor Participates
1.2.1  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2    7 months ago
A little research never hurt anyone.

Oh, my. It looks like Democrats have controlled Lowndes County for many decades and prevented Blacks from exercising their constitutional right to vote. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.2.2  seeder  CB   replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2.1    7 months ago

If that is absolutely true and looks can be deceiving (scratch under the surface), then shame on those dirty, cheating, democrats! A dirty politician is a dirty politician no matter it camouflage!

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Professor Participates
1.2.3  Jasper2529  replied to  CB @1.2.2    7 months ago

All one needs to do is read the link that's supported with documented evidence posted in comment 1.2 that Texan gave to you several days ago.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.4  Tessylo  replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2.3    7 months ago

I wouldn't trust yours or his 'research' or documented 'evidence' - chances are it doesn't state what was claimed in the first place.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.4    7 months ago

When one doesn't read links, their opinion of them is worthless

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.5    7 months ago

I'll give her the benefit of doubt, they were read but not understood.  

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Professor Participates
1.2.7  Jasper2529  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.4    7 months ago
I wouldn't trust yours or his 'research' - chances are it doesn't state what was claimed in the first place.

More's the pity.

"More's the pity" is an adverbial expression meaning "unfortunately" or "sadly."

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.8  Tessylo  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.6    7 months ago

You don't need to give me anything.  I didn't read them.  But chances are very good that what I said is true

 
 
 
Jasper2529
Professor Participates
1.2.9  Jasper2529  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.8    7 months ago
I didn't read them. 

Reading opens the road to knowledge and understanding.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.10  Tessylo  replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2.9    7 months ago

So profound!

jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.11  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.10    7 months ago

A whole lot more profound than someone's opinion about something they never read.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.12  Tessylo  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.10    7 months ago

My detractors don't post much in the way of wisdom or knowledge.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.13  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @1.2.12    7 months ago

Are you trying to convince yourself the stuff you don't bother to read is false?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.2.14  seeder  CB   replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2.3    7 months ago

I dealt with this in my own way two days before already, Jasper. But if you insist, then here and now let me state, democrats -especially of the "southern demcrat of yesterday" persuasion can be wrong too. Okay, we good now?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.3  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1    7 months ago
Conservatives don't do this kind of thing to its citizens, do they?

Do you find the Democratic leadership of the county to be too conservative for your tastes?

Shouldn't that really be something for its own residents who vote to decide?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1    7 months ago
An example of systemic racism?

Maybe for the simple minded in society.  But let's continue to play petty games and place blame on everything and do nothing about it.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.1  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4    7 months ago

Simple-minded? Insults is that all you've got to offer? DOJ has started an investigation. Weird as it looks that is action underway. Although one has to ask why the local and state officials require federal assistance with this problem. And so the waiting continues. The good news is a conclusion is upcoming!

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
1.4.2  Snuffy  replied to  CB @1.4.1    7 months ago

The DOJ has started a civil rights investigation, why is that other than the population of the county is almost 70% black and this administration has put social justice very high on the list.  This is an issue that according to the seed has gone on for over 50 years so it's a generational issue.  And we've seen in this seed that Alabama law puts the responsibility for fixing this issue on the homeowner..  

I don't know, it's possible that the civil rights issue lies on the state government.  I think it's a safe bet that the homeowners could not afford to fix their issue and the country government did not have the money to fix their parts of this and rather than make a bunch of people homeless they "ignore" the law on the books.  I guess it could be similar to Flint MI where the local government did not have the money to fix the issue and the state government wouldn't.  I don't know where this will end up.  But IMO it's truly a shame that in the richest country on the planet we still have people who live like this, or people on reservations who still live without electricity or running water...  We're gonna pony up money to put people back on the moon but we still don't do everything we can to insure that the living among us are able to join us in the 21st century.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.4.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.4.1    7 months ago
Although one has to ask why the local and state officials require federal assistance with this problem

The county can't afford the solution.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
1.4.4  afrayedknot  replied to  Snuffy @1.4.2    7 months ago

“…but we still don't do everything we can to insure that the living among us are unable to join us in the 21st century.”

Hear, Hear!

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
1.4.5  Snuffy  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.3    7 months ago
The county can't afford the solution.

Agreed.  But where will the civil rights investigation end up?  Going up the chain, the state government would have the ability and money to fix this but is that where the issue truly lies?  I don't know and I'm terrible at predictions.  But I very much dislike how governments at all levels can spend money on anything they want but we still have people living in poverty, who cannot get a good education, etc.   I'm not a fan of equity but I do believe in equality.  Instead of spending money to go back to the moon I believe that we should rebuild our educational system to provide the best possible education to our people.  IMO that is where you can really fix the issue long term.  

And yes, I said rebuild.  Throw out the unions, the superintendents and anything else built in to waste money and teach children how to learn, how to think.  

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.6  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.1    7 months ago
Simple-minded?

Yes.  Simple-minded.  If race is the first thing that comes to mind for any issue, then you are simple minded.  You see it as an insult, I see it as honesty. 

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
1.4.7  Snuffy  replied to  afrayedknot @1.4.4    7 months ago

Sorry, just saw the typo...   I meant to say that the living among us are able to join us in the 21st century.   Not unable..  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.8  seeder  CB   replied to  Snuffy @1.4.2    7 months ago

Especially when you consider the "funding" we share overseas for goodwill with other nations. We would like to think that goodwill begins at home, foremost! I don't know where this will end up either. Either way, it's being looked into by more authorities. Thanks for your insights.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.9  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.4.3    7 months ago

I think that is what is 'sticking in the craw' of out of state officials, people venting "shit water" to the ground. It looks bad, sounds. . .disgusting, and is a throw-back to a lack of civilization when humans had no other recourse. That the county and the state is not doing what it needs to advance and lift its status among states is holding back progress and is a weakness.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Masters Quiet
1.4.10  Jack_TX  replied to  Snuffy @1.4.2    7 months ago
why is that other than the population of the county is almost 70% black

73%, actually.

But IMO it's truly a shame that in the richest country on the planet we still have people who live like this,

I think it becomes a question of senselessly throwing away one person's money because another person doesn't want to move.

In this particular case, there are about 10,000 people in this county of 775 sq miles.    Depending on which news outlet you believe, either 40% or 80% of homes need either sewage pipes or septic tanks installed or repaired.  That's tens of millions of dollars, easily.

Most of these people live less than 20 miles from Montgomery, which has working sewage. Just because people might want to stay in Lowndes County does not mean the rest of us should be obligated to subsidize that at such expense.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.4.11  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @1.4.9    7 months ago
That the county and the state is not doing what it needs to advance and lift its status among states is holding back progress and is a weakness.

That's why I previously wrote that they need to raise property taxes.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.12  seeder  CB   replied to  Jack_TX @1.4.10    7 months ago

Jack, this nation subsidizes a great many 'things' annually and repeatedly. Don't let this stress you out. Remember health is something that has potential to affect the whole community.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.13  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.6    7 months ago

Don't get self-righteous with me, Jeremy. There is a problem here and the authorities are taking appropriate action(s) to find a conclusion—finally. Our 'role' is to discuss what we know about the case, express opinions, and maybe even wonder why people have to sit in a "shit-hole" and what caused it.

We do not get to make determinations about whether a southern region historically known for its single-minded individualism is going too far by allowing poor people to dwell in filthy surrounding, without first hearing all sides. That's what the investigation this is on-going is charged to do.

That said, we can talk about the pathetic problem.

For your information, race is not the 'only' thing or first thing that comes to mind, but if the situation lends itself to no solid relief minorities are 'ripe' to consider if old haunts (differences between people) are the issue.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.4.14  Texan1211  replied to  CB @1.4.13    7 months ago
There is a problem here and the authorities are taking appropriate action(s) to find a conclusion—finally. Our 'role' is to discuss what we know about the case, express opinions, and maybe even wonder why people have to sit in a "shit-hole" and what caused it.

Definitely a problem here. What we know for sure is that the residents who bother to vote have elected ineffective leaders for decades, or this would not be a crisis now.

I suppose living with shit dumped in your yard is preferable to voting for effective leaders for some folks.

Personally, I would choose not to live that way myself.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Masters Quiet
1.4.15  Jack_TX  replied to  CB @1.4.12    7 months ago
Jack, this nation subsidizes a great many 'things' annually and repeatedly.

Sure, but I'm not sure we've never subsidized $20k/each deferred maintenance/capital improvement on private homes.   If that's the new program, I'm sure I can find something at my house that you can pay for.  Where do I apply? 

Keep in mind that for many of these homes, the installation of a septic system will cost more than the value of the house.

Remember health is something that has potential to affect the whole community.

If 80% of the homes are unsafe, should the community really continue to exist?  Why do we never question whether it is in the best interest of everyone involved to shut that community down and relocate people to someplace with safer homes, better schools, and more opportunities? 

Don't let this stress you out.

Interesting comment from the guy who has been typing in giant red letters for much of the seed.  

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.16  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.13    7 months ago
Don't get self-righteous with me, Jeremy.

LMOA.  You actually think I'm going to change my attitude because YOUR feelings are hurt?  Not going to happen.  

There is a problem here and the authorities are taking appropriate action(s)

Yes, there is a problem.  So why did It  take decades for something to be done about it?

We do not get to make determinations about whether a southern region historically known for its single-minded individualism is going too far by allowing poor people to dwell in filthy surrounding, without first hearing all sides.

There you go again.  Trying to inject an irrelevant item into the issue.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but not everybody thinks of race when there is a problem.  Wonder why racism won't die?  This is why.  Treat them as PEOPLE and not a skin color.  

For your information, race is not the 'only' thing or first thing that comes to mind

Then why mention it at all?  Are you trying to imply something about a specific demographic?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.17  seeder  CB   replied to  Jack_TX @1.4.15    7 months ago

Less flippancy, Jack. I am point out key points to be observed with red ink, not 'yelling outrage.' I hope others understood my attempt and did not go for the negative connotation. One can only hope so. As for the details of what states and local authorities pay for-it is beyond us to list.

These families could lose their 'cases.' Be forced to move. Or be ruled in favor of by the authorities. I do not know what the outcome will be. I simply found it odd that people have PCP pipes venting shit on the ground in Alabama and the state authorities have not found the resources or corrective action to stop it.

What will be-will be.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.18  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.16    7 months ago
You actually think I'm going to change my attitude because YOUR feelings are hurt?  Not going to happen. 

Well, my feelings per se are not invoked on your comment, Jeremy. Not yet anyway. What makes you feel they were? Curious.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.19  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.16    7 months ago
There you go again.  Trying to inject an irrelevant item into the issue.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but not everybody thinks of race when there is a problem.  Wonder why racism won't die?  This is why.  Treat them as PEOPLE and not a skin color.  

Tell that to conservatives, Jeremy. The problems of racial disharmony, exclusion, or apathy can't be fixed by hiding them in plain sight. Best to drag those 'little miscreants' out into the disinfecting light of discussion so they can be scrutinized and dispensed.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.20  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.18    7 months ago
Well, my feelings per se are not invoked on your comment,

Apparently they are.  When you quit lying to yourself we MIGHT be able to have a conversation.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.21  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.16    7 months ago
Then why mention it at all?  Are you trying to imply something about a specific demographic?

I talk about race, because I have no option but to talk about race factors, Jeremy. Racism masquerades as color-blindedness. But, when you pull by the curtain. . . it's race fixation and racists operating all along back there!

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.22  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.19    7 months ago
Tell that to conservatives

I don't see conservatives playing the race card on trivial shit.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.23  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.20    7 months ago

You think I have to lie. . .to you, Jeremy? Really. We can get real and go deep any time you want Jeremy. Just be careful of your tone and go for it.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.24  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.22    7 months ago

I do. But, I am a liberal black male, homosexual, Christian (whose faith is questioned (and denied) by the evangelical-right on NT). I see perspectives your vantage point does not allow for, Jeremy and that disturbs and disagrees with you very much.

Moreover, I do not see 'race'  in this case of shit on the ground (the DOJ Civil Rights division is investigating for it), but it is potentially a problem in a state like Alabama. We can pretend Alabama has no history or present issues with people of color's place there or 'staying in their place' if you prefer. But, it would only be pretense at color-blindness.

Let the DOJ check it out. If race is not the factor and these people of color need to move away or fix their own shit problems, so be it.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
1.4.25  afrayedknot  replied to  Texan1211 @1.4.14    7 months ago

“Personally, I would choose not to live that way myself.”

…and yet you choose to wallow in it and spew it incessantly. 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.26  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.21    7 months ago
I talk about race, because I have no option but to talk about race factors

You have not option?  Oh, bullshit.  You talk about it because you want to.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.27  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.26    7 months ago

I guess I wanted to be a minority with a 'tragic' past , a liberal with conservative nemeses, and a liberal Christian testing my faith against conservative Christians because its uplifting. And, I get stupendous joy from all this, all the time, until I get old, probably sick, and just die from its 'burden.'

Well Jeremy, you can believe that if it gets you through the day and your time here. I will continue to do what I feel is needful and helpful; be a voice for my cause and I reckon you will have to do your best to demonstrate the errors of my ways. Peace.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.28  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.27    7 months ago
I guess I wanted to be a minority with a 'tragic' past

So you are trying to offended for somebody else.  Pretty pathetic that you assume that you thing an adult cannot speak for themselves based on skin color.  Kind of racist actually.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.29  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.28    7 months ago
I guess I wanted to be a minority with a 'tragic' past , a liberal with conservative nemeses, and a liberal Christian testing my faith against conservative Christians because its uplifting. And, I get stupendous joy from all this, all the time, until I get old, probably sick, and just die from its 'burden.'

Reread the above sentences without the intrepid bias you display with me and you will see my life experiences rather than an exploitation and distortion of it. I'll leave it up to you, nevertheless.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Guide
1.4.30  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  CB @1.4.29    7 months ago
I guess I wanted to be a minority with a 'tragic' past

You say this then try to claim your not trying to exploit anybody?  Sounds more like you have no life experiences and are trying to live through somebody else.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.4.31  seeder  CB   replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4.30    7 months ago

And you are wasting our quality time together. What else you got?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2  seeder  CB     7 months ago

Alabama Caught: Sugar, Honey, Iced, Tea -handed!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  Texan1211  replied to  CB @2    7 months ago
Alabama Caught: Sugar, Honey, Iced, Tea -handed!

What is THAT supposed to mean??????

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
3  zuksam    7 months ago

"Since plumbing systems in the houses of the inhabitants aren't working—or are incorrectly tied into the county systems—they are forced to pump sewage into holes in their yards."                    Everywhere I've ever heard of makes the home owner responsible for plumbing or sewer pipes on their own property, basically you're financially responsible for the pipe from the main line onto your property and into your home. So the article is one sided and leaves out many critical details like, Does the main sewer line work ? If it does then the home owners need to get their own plumbing fixed, if it doesn't then fixing the main is the Counties responsibility. I can tell you one thing though these people need to stop using their toilets and get some pails and go down to the feed store and get a bale of sawdust, they can piss in a pail and dump it in a hole in the yard but they should shit in a different pail and mix it with sawdust then put it in a larger covered container outside so you can dispose of it every week or two. The main thing is to stop mixing your waste with water it only makes the problem 100 times bigger and heavier. They should also stop blaming this on racism since most of the counties population is black I'm sure their elected officials are also black so why are they blaming racists?

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3.1  Ronin2  replied to  zuksam @3    7 months ago

You are correct; this is from Savanah, GA- but it is Georgia law.

.

DID YOU KNOW THAT HOMEOWNERS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY WITH MAINTAINING THE WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM?

Homeowners are responsible for both the water line that runs from the water meter to their residence, and for the sewer line that runs from their residence to the sewer main, called a lateral.

Maintaining your sewer lateral includes keeping the lateral line flowing and free of debris, such as roots or fats, oils, and grease. Unfortunately, sewer laterals are often not maintained by property owners until a disaster strikes, which can cause costly damage to the interior of a home and the environment. 

Did you know most homeowners’s insurance does NOT cover private water and sewer line failures? Check with your insurance company on coverage and rates.

But much like Flint, MI seems that home owners aren't maintaining their end of the deal. I am sure that given enough political pressure that Georgia and federal tax payers will again be on the hook for this.

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Sophomore Principal
3.2  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  zuksam @3    7 months ago

Rural Areas are usually "on Property" Septic Tank and Drainfields, the responsibility of the homeowner to Maintain and keep in good working order, since THEY own it !

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.3  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @3    7 months ago

Interesting. I will look into this ASAP.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
3.4  Ender  replied to  zuksam @3    7 months ago

This is disgusting. Open sewage pits and a swage pond....

This whole place is sounding like a hazardous waste site.

You are correct. Even in my state we are responsible for all connections to the main system.

I am responsible for water lines into the home and waste pipes that leave.

I am responsible up to where it hooks into the city or county.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  zuksam @3    7 months ago

Lime is better for feces

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.5.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Trout Giggles @3.5    7 months ago
Lime is better for feces

If one has a septic tank with a Leech field , quicklime is a homeowners friend in case of seepage upwards .(  DO NOT put it in your septic tank...)

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.5.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.5.1    7 months ago

Plenty of times I saw Dad spreading lime over a ditch in our yard

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.5.3  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Trout Giggles @3.5.2    7 months ago

I would be willing to bet , that ditch was at the edge of the leech field somehow .

i have 2 septic tanks with leech fields im responsible for right now , each tank can handle 3 family sized houses , i have each one pumped at alternate intervals every 4 years .

the tanks themselves are not the worry , its the Leech fields where the grayish run off goes that is , they will fail over time  and they can be affected by the amount of natural run off such as rain and snowmelt as well as if they get too much water into the system itself  so actual usage matters as well. .

when i was a younger yonker , i installed a few septic systems or at least assisted in doing so , some of the "tricks " i learned doing that , i will pretty much keep to myself , new unused systems are easy , those used ones .... couldnt pay me enough now to mess with those unless i own them .

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.5.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.5.3    7 months ago
I would be willing to bet , that ditch was at the edge of the leech field somehow .

You would win that bet. We had a septic system but it was a poor one. At least we had one. Some of our neighbors pumped their waste water into a ditch that ran along the road.

The house I'm living in now, the lateral lines failed. Fortunately for us, the city was installing a forced main where we could hook up. It was a lot cheaper than digging a new leach field and we were pretty sure it wouldn't have passed a perc test. And the city takes care of the grinder pump!

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
3.5.5  zuksam  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.5    7 months ago
Lime is better for feces

Yes, when and if you're burying it but saw dust is better in the house it's light and absorbs moisture and smell very well short term and helps keep the pail clean, plus it's safe even for kids. If you can't use your toilet you put an inch of sawdust in the bottom of the pail then use it then cover the crap with just enough sawdust to cover it then put the cover on the pail. This way the pail is light weight and less dusty than lime plus since you can't use water because your sewer doesn't work you wouldn't want to use lime because lime is dangerous, It can cause severe burns on skin, eyes, inner nose, and lungs and normally you'd flush with lots of water but with no sewer you can't use the sink. When lime dust contacts moisture there is a chemical reaction that causes burns so if your skin is moist enough for the dust to stick it's moist enough to burn.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4  seeder  CB     7 months ago

The problem of shit on the ground in this county is its health concerns are bigger than any one individual, especially poor land and homeowners can hope to manage. It is the type of problem most urban-areas band together to deal with centralized control. A city waste water system/project. 

What you hear in the background of discussion is poor families being left to sit and stir in their own shit or to sale their lands (their wealth) simply to get rid of the shit other areas of society group together to act upon with a solution. For public health reasons.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4    7 months ago

Sounds to me like the county should maybe start electing better officials to represent them.

Now, which party holds power there?

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
4.2  zuksam  replied to  CB @4    7 months ago
The problem of shit on the ground in this county is its health concerns are bigger than any one individual,

That's why there is a County, Citizens band together and form a county to govern and provide services to the citizens. While everybody I know of is responsible for pipes and plumbing on their own property the Citizens of that county are free to vote their own rules. If they want the County to fix everything, they will have to pay for it JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Their County can borrow money and pay it over the next 15-25 years and their taxes will go up a few hundred a year. There is a faster alternative, anywhere in my State if you had a open cesspit in your yard the property would be immediately Condemned. I sure hope they're not drinking well water because that's nasty. There's another solution, if the County and it's government is unable to do it's job and enforce basic health standards the county should be placed in receivership and a manager appointed by the courts to get their finances and services in order. These people obviously need better County leadership and if the problem is that the citizens can't afford to fix the pipes on their own properties and they can't afford a tax increase then the problem is they can't afford to own their own home and they should make other arrangements. Not everyone can afford to own a home, the cost of upkeep can be overwhelming especially if you don't have the skills to do most of the labor yourself. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.1  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @4.2    7 months ago

You're making good points. One of the interviewee (a black man) stated this 'state' of the problem has existed for 50-60 years. That is a lifetime. And, there are two points that need to be discussed:

1. These are rural area homes where people are widely spread out.

2. These are minority folks who potentially (clearly?) do not have the political power or connections in the state to get this problem remedied.

This is why I think, emphasis on think, the DOJ:

The Justice Department launched an investigation in November to figure out if the Lowndes County Health Department has been discriminating against Black residents.

Is approaching the issue from an 'insufficiency to act' stance of old racial problems and stereotypes. Because we've seen too many times where minorities, especially Blacks are left out of left back in financial planning and civil projects.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4.2.1    7 months ago
Because we've seen too many times where minorities, especially Blacks are left out of left back in financial planning and civil projects.

So, what "plans" did you find the elected officials in that county have made?

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
4.2.3  zuksam  replied to  CB @4.2.1    7 months ago
figure out if the Lowndes County Health Department has been discriminating against Black residents.

If anything the opposite is true they've been letting these people continue to live in homes that any Health Department worth it's salt would have condemned. It's not the Health Departments job to fix peoples plumbing it's their job to make sure homeowners and landlords maintain their dwellings and meet the minimum standards. If I had allowed roots to block my pipe and just piped my sewerage into an open cesspit they would have condemned my home, kicked me out, and boarded it up, Period ! By doing the work myself or as needed I avoided a cesspit and being condemned, once you're condemned the work must be done by a licensed contractor at a much higher cost so it's better to be proactive. The Lowndes County Health Department certainly isn't doing their job but I'm not sure these residents would want them to, do they want their homes condemned ? These homes should be condemned and these open cesspits certainly are a health risk not to mention an environmental concern but the Health Department is not the Department of Public Works. They do not build or maintain the wastewater treatment plant or the sewer mains under the roads or fix pipes and plumbing on private property, the only responsibility the Lowndes County Health Department has in this situation is the responsibility to enforce minimum standards and penalize these home owners with fines and condemnation of these properties. The way the law is written it doesn't matter if the pipe is clogged or whether it's the fault of the county or homeowner it is still illegal to run a sewer pipe into an open pit. If the Lowndes County Health Department doesn't condemn these homes the State Dept. of Environmental Management can. The sewer system is the responsibility of the Local Government not the State Government, if I were the Governor of the State I'd put this County into receivership and allow the courts to oversee it's management.  

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.2.4  Ender  replied to  CB @4.2.1    7 months ago
These are rural area homes where people are widely spread out

Not being argumentative or anything, but I would think people that live rural and out in the middle of nowhere would either have to have some long pipes or some kind of sewage system, like a septic tank.

We had a septic tank when I lived in Maryland. They still have to be maintained and pumped out every once in a while.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @4.2.1    7 months ago
Blacks are left out of left back in financial planning and civil projects.

I think that three of the five county commissioners are Black.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
4.2.6  zuksam  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2.5    7 months ago
 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.7  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @4.2.3    7 months ago

Well, you make some good point yet again. I can see your points. However, I caution one thing: Their are nearly always complexities involved of a political nature, such as presented below:

@ 7 jrSmiley_116_smiley_image.png   This is the Justice Department’s first Title VI environmental justice investigation for one of the department’s funding recipients and federal officials suggested there will be more to come, since addressing discriminatory environmental and health impacts through enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division.

The government has funded this project and needs to verify everything is properly being planned and executed. So there must have been some reasons for the exercise. Further review of what is happening in Lowndes County, Alabama (note the early date in 2021) :

$2.9 million effort to address wastewater woes in peril in Lowndes County

Updated: Jul. 02, 2021, 11:37 a.m

A $2.9 million effort to address longstanding wastewater treatment shortfalls in rural Lowndes County is in jeopardy after a recent decision by the county commission left a key participant off the sewer board.

The Lowndes County Commission on Monday voted to appoint a new slate of sewer board members six days after an event heralding the installation of the effort’s first wastewater treatment system at the home of local advocate Perman Hardy.

X7TRMHLP6BAGBJCSOELIB62NZE.jpg

Sherry Bradley, director of the state Bureau of Environmental Services (left), and Perman Hardy stand behind Hardy's house in rural Lowndes County on June 22. (Connor Sheets | csheets@al.com)

Hardy, who has volunteered hundreds of hours over the past decade to raise awareness about insufficient wastewater treatment in her home county and push for remedies, says she was appointed to the board several years ago. Carnell McAlpine, who served on the county commission for eight years ending in 2020, said that he made the appointment “in ’15 or ’16.”

But the commission’s current chairman, Charlie King – who defeated McAlpine at the polls last year – claims that Hardy was never formally appointed to the sewer board, and on Monday the commission did not appoint her to the new board.

That decision has led to an impasse that could mean the end of a federally funded program charged with modernizing wastewater treatment in Lowndes County that had only just begun to have an impact.

Hundreds of low-income residents of the majority-Black rural Black Belt county have lived for years with failing septic tanks that regularly back up into their homes and some have resorted to straight pipes that spew raw sewage into open cesspools in their yards.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded over $2 million to the Lowndes County Unincorporated Wastewater Program Sewer Board, an organization that Sherry Bradley, director of the state Bureau of Environmental Services, incorporated as a nonprofit in 2019 with Hardy named as its incorporator and authorized agent. The grant required a 25% local funding match, and Bradley led a drive that raised over $695,000 from major companies, area businesspeople, politicians, and other donors.

Last week, Bradley led an event announcing the successful installation of the first treatment system funded by the program. She gave crystal commemorative awards to some of the top local donors and took attendees to Hardy’s home in rural Collirene to see the nearly $70,000 system that was recently installed in her backyard to treat wastewater from three homes including Hardy’s.

BCSGNZUFIVG6PECSEGU6X7OELM.jpg

A FujiClean wastewater treatment system was installed outside Perman Hardy's home in Collirene. (Connor Sheets | csheets@al.com)

But on Tuesday, Bradley announced in a letter to King that the county commission’s failure to appoint Hardy to the sewer board left the future of the wastewater treatment program in peril.

“Because of the action taken by the County Commission, and it leaves me no choice, I respectfully must withdraw the 25% match funds to the USDA funding of 75%,” she wrote. “All contributions are being returned to the contributors.”

The article continues here:

I have not posted the entirety of this articlejrSmiley_115_smiley_image.png but we can clearly get a sense of the bureaucracy 'red-tape' that threatens to derail projects for communities of color rearing its ugly head. Just read on in the link.

These residents have their 'just cause' to complain, thus prompting the government to investigate for state and local agency motivations and rationalizations.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.8  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2.5    7 months ago

I don't known. I am working my way through this in real-time. However, as Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina (R-2013-present) illustrates in his "no" vote for the first black female (qualified) Supreme Court 'color or status' can be deceiving and confusing. I will look into it, if you do not ascertain facts on the commissioners before me.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
4.2.9  zuksam  replied to  CB @4.2.7    7 months ago
bureaucracy 'red-tape' that threatens to derail projects

I don't think it has anything to do with race it's likely the politicians want her gone because they can't steal eggs while she's guarding the hen house. Like I said elsewhere I'd recommend receivership because this county government is nonfunctional.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.10  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @4.2.6    7 months ago

Thank you for sharing. One black male is there for 16 years! ("Foolish?) Two other black men are relatively new (2 years and under as commissioners). And of the two White commissioners one is misnamed (error) with the 16 year black man's name and years of service. Not helpful in this sense.

But you did your part to make the presentation.  Bravo, zuksam! :)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.11  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @4.2.7    7 months ago
Carnell McAlpine, who served on the county commission for eight years ending in 2020, said that he made the appointment “in ’15 or ’16.”

Who needs to keep records when you have a memory?

But the commission’s current chairman, Charlie King – who defeated McAlpine at the polls last year

Lowndes County Commission Chair Charlie King Jr. faces criminal charges in a dispute over a vehicle.  King turned himself in to authorities March 12 after Thomas Rudolph, an acquaintance, signed a warrant against the commission chair charging King with harrassment, said sheriff Chip Williams.

Residents are accusing County Commission Chairman Charlie King, Jr. of being the person who handed out the flyers, which are strongly political and use the "N" word as well as others...."The fact that a black, elected public official was responsible for the distribution of this flyer hurts me and my family deeply," Evans explained at a meeting.

A former Lowndes County Commission Chairman, Charlie King Jr. of Collirene has been arrested on charges of rape in the first degree.  Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeremy A. Marvin said at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, “a former Lowndes County Commissioner, Charlie King Jr.,” a 64-year-old black male of Collirene, “was arrested for the charges of rape in the first degree.”  Marvin said the alleged victim was a “27-year-old black female.” He said the alleged incident happened in the county within the past two weeks.

County Commissioner King is a busy man.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.12  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @4.2.9    7 months ago

HANow with that, I am reminded it is time for my 'break'! Watch the coop for me, y'all! Don't let 'crooks' run away with the room while I am out! Zuksam you deserve to take in charge!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.13  seeder  CB   replied to  Ender @4.2.4    7 months ago

Yes, they started a limited project to do septic tanks there.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.2.14  Ender  replied to  CB @4.2.13    7 months ago

I have actually dealt with it first hand. My Father always took care of things like that so I never gave it a second thought.

After he left it still never crossed my mind, until one day the septic tank over flowed all in the back yard. It was a disgusting mess. Had to have a truck come in, tear up the yard and the fence posts and pump it out.

I just feel I am not seeing the whole picture here, the article above.

Though I am being lazy today and not wanting to read that much.  Haha

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.15  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2.11    7 months ago

Yeah, this timeline of people needs ironing out. King is listed in the article as a former commissioner back in 2017! Well, we seem to have "moving parts" locally in this story. Just goes to illustrate, I guess, just how small some circles are and the players limited. :)  And Drinker', black people can be outright bad people too!

It's the stereotyping of blacks as citizen group that has to be called!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.16  seeder  CB   replied to  Ender @4.2.14    7 months ago

It's a lot to take it. But the filth is what caught by eye. And I got 'hot.' I started yelling at the television (Friday) about black people's feet not being nailed to the ground, get up and move!!! But, like you suggest, there are complexities here and people get emotionally tied do their surroundings. Moreover, people get old and where do you 'run to' when you are. . . too old anymore? So you just want somebody to fix this shitty 'deal.' And, apparently this community has a 'case' to be made and heard, because somebody in government is 'turning to.'

Just need to get those persons and groups that are obstacles to progress to step aside or completely out of the way!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.17  seeder  CB   replied to  CB @4.2.12    7 months ago

Thank you, zuksam for keeping all 'stations' calm while I was away on 'break.' You helped to make it happen! Stop by the 'front desk' and pick up a little 'som-thin'-'som-thin' on your way out tonight!  :):):)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.18  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @4.2.16    7 months ago
And, apparently this community has a 'case' to be made and heard, because somebody in government is 'turning to.'

Maybe they feel like most rural Americans.  Many folks on this site like to make fun of rural Americans.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.19  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2.18    7 months ago

True. But it does help perspective when we get these opportunities to deal with 'god's green earth issues' together. Instead of merely being 'deliciously terrible flavored' writers to one another! A breath of fresh air, it is!

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.3  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  CB @4    7 months ago
sale their lands (their wealth) simply to get rid of the shit

I would say good luck with that , what most dont take into consideration is that it is usually the current landowners responsibility to fix the problem , so who will buy a property with a known problem that will cost them ?

 Oh im sure that civilly in court , they might get off the hook, in cases of premeditated and illegal dumping of waste , but thats not a guarantee to happen either , in this case the property owner , if they keep or sell  those that are on record as the actual owner , is the one on the hook , its a game of "hot potato" , it is who will get caught holding it when its caught . 

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
5  Hallux    7 months ago

The Justice Department opened its investigation 4-1/2 months ago, depending on the number of regulatory bodies both private and public involved this should take another 4-1/2 years to resolve by which time 1/2 of those will no longer exist requiring another 4-1/2 year study. Digging up and replacing pipes in the soft soil of Alabama should take no more than 4-12 months ... digging up racism with its subtle and not so subtle shifts will take an eternity.

I note the translation bureau of the Justice Department has been 'busy' ...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6  seeder  CB     7 months ago

Why is Onsite Wastewater an Issue?

The Black Belt region of Alabama is traditionally defined as a set of 17 counties arcing through the south-central part of the state . Eleven (11) of these counties have high concentrations of clay soil including Lowndes County . Large portions of Lowndes County are rural, unincorporated, and not connected to municipal utilities wastewater disposal.

Black Prairie soil is virtually nonabsorbent. This  type of soil causes onsite sewage systems to become problematic.
With high and persistent poverty levels, low income homeowners cannot afford the cost of a an onsite sewage disposal system, which has generated the dangerous practice of straight piping. The practice of straight piping releases household untreated wastewater (sewage) above ground.

Understanding the negative community health impact, the  BBUWP was created to increase the accessibility of proper onsite wastewater disposal resources. Phase One of the project consist of serving a minimum of 100 homes, Phase Two is based on funding and will serve those in need beyond the pilot.
Through our program, partners and the generosity of our donors, installs and repairs onsite wastewater systems. BBUWP also provides educational outreach, as well as new system monitoring and maintenance for the benefit of low income homeowners living with failing and nonexistent wastewater systems.

BBUWP has a growing waiting list and have received more than 200 applicants for this program.

BBWP-2-640w.jpg

Example of incorrect septic tank usage

Our  Project

With a focus on community health, the Blackbelt Unincorporated Wastewater Program (BBUWP)works to empower people in the Black Belt Community by first addressing the bare necessity of proper onsite wastewater disposal. Today, approximately 70- 80% of all rural households in Lowndes County and other counties of the Black Belt Region of Alabama have failing or nonexistent wastewater systems. Challenged with high poverty levels and poor soil conditions, rural families are left with few alternatives and resort to a hazardous practice known as “straight piping” to remove household wastewater. Straight piping is a gateway to disease-causing pathogens generated from exposure to raw sewage. These harmful conditions negatively impact human health, rural water supplies, animal and plant life, the environment, and the community where straight piping is practiced.

Don't ask me, I have no glue from the image how a 'block' or box is helpful to sewage control. I pulled it 'verbatim' from the site. Apparently, something people are doing out there. . . .

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7  seeder  CB     7 months ago

environmental-justice-alabama-heavy-rains-flood-front-yard-of-lowndes-county-resident-charlie-640x420.jpg

November 9, 2021

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that it has embarked on a historic environmental justice investigation into an impoverished Alabama county’s longstanding wastewater problems, which have left some residents with sewage in their yards.

Federal prosecutors in the department’s civil rights division will examine whether state and local health departments have discriminated against Black residents of Lowndes County and have caused them to unjustifiably bear the risk of hookworm infections and other adverse health effects associated with inadequate wastewater treatment, officials said.

“Sanitation is a basic human need, and no one in the United States should be exposed to risk of illness and other serious harm because of inadequate access to safe and effective sewage management,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Lowndes County Health Department must operate their onsite wastewater disposal and infectious diseases and outbreaks programs in a safe and equitable manner, officials said. “State and local health officials are obligated, under federal civil rights laws, to protect the health and safety of all their residents,” Clarke said.

Justice Department officials said officials in Alabama are cooperating, and they emphasized no conclusions have been reached regarding whether there’s evidence of racial bias in the state and county’s federally funded health departments.

A spokesman for the Alabama Department of Public Health said they can’t comment on the pending probe. “ADPH is committed to cooperating with the investigating agencies to have this matter resolved as quickly as possible,” Ryan Easterling wrote in an email.

This is the Justice Department’s first Title VI environmental justice investigation for one of the department’s funding recipients and federal officials suggested there will be more to come, since addressing discriminatory environmental and health impacts through enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division.

Wastewater problems are well documented in Lowndes County, where at least 26% of the people live in poverty.

Alabama’s Black Belt region gets its name for the dark rich soil that once gave rise to cotton plantations but the type of soil also makes it difficult for traditional septic tanks, in which wastewater filters through the ground, to function properly.

The region’s intense poverty and inadequate municipal infrastructure contribute to the problem. Maintaining septic tanks have typically been the responsibility of a homeowner, while local governments maintain sewage systems. Some homes in the rural county still have “straight pipe” systems, letting sewage run untreated from home to yard.

(See article for last two paragraphs. -CB.)
 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8  seeder  CB     7 months ago

Justice Department Probes Environmental Racism Of Wastewater Crisis In Rural Alabama

This video has a 'both-sides' approach? It's insightful. More of a feeling, than what is the root cause of this. And more importantly, who is responsible for its permanent solution.

NOTE: This is the video I saw on my television screen which 'alarmed' me. I just came upon how to get it to present here on Youtube-MSNBC.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
8.1  zuksam  replied to  CB @8    7 months ago

I liked the video but I think many of these people have the wrong idea. Just because you're poor and black doesn't mean you're entitled to free home repairs, white folks aren't getting them so why would it be racist not to give it to you. I'd recommend moving away to a better area, their homes are trailers that could be moved if they are worth anything and the land in these areas is dirt cheap. I'm talking 500 bucks an acre tops so it's not like they're walking away from a huge investment. If you can sell the lot good, if you can sell or take the trailer good, if not burn it and walk away. You can just use the immigrant test, if you don't see any immigrants moving into the area there's a reason and it's time to leave.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.1  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @8.1    7 months ago

Two points to consider:

1. This land and dwellings are a large percentage of what these people own, and not all of them live in trailers.

2. Despite what it seems, blacks do NOT have the wealth 'to pass down' generationally, likely because they are forced to give it up and sell it off in order to ease the conditions and states of their day to day, long-term oppressive living. Indeed, some times the ploy itself is to 'outlast' poor people until they relent, walk away, or lose their lands and homes to "investors.'

Now then, Whites who have their own share of life's financial "booms" and "busts" also have greater accessibility to solutions and higher profitability when and if forced to sell off. That is, if this sewer issue were found to be mildly or strongly problematic for white rural landowners to handle, just imagine it being percentages harder for blacks and other minorities who have 'caps' and 'white authority' oversight over the rules, policies, banking, and regulations in the state. Do you agree?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.2  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @8.1    7 months ago
Just because you're poor and black doesn't mean you're entitled to free home repairs, white folks aren't getting them so why would it be racist not to give it to you.

You again hit on a solid area of what is 'eating' at this subject. And I love it. That is this:

What is it you see with the black citizens in the 'listed' videos I have curated here?

1. First observation: "Aged." They're old folks. Which implies they have lived many experiences and this just being another or one in a list of other circumstances and problems to fix.

2. Second observation:  These folks have settled and plotted in Lowndes Country.  And depending on the county, they pay proper taxes asked of them.

3. Third observation: The stories are told from a minority Black perspective up to this point. That is, I do not have the other side perspective from whites in the county as to how they are dealing with this sewer issue; if it is an issue for whites in the county, or if they have the funding from whatever sources to remedy and make it go away.

4. Fourth observation: These folks are being told there may be civil rights matters and concerns involved here that give the government interest in placing funds into the area; and investigating Lowndes County officials for possible, high or low probability of, wrong doings.

5. Fifth observation. The locals see other areas (more urban) with central waste management and themselves without a central waste system for a rural county and maybe they think they "deserve" it. Now they are moving to do so.

6. The cost for this large-scale undertaking and project may not be for the poor resident to take upon themselves. All over this country, when large-scale projects are projected to be too much for the locals or crossing many jurisdictions government power and resources are called upon to do it.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
8.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @8.1.2    7 months ago
1. First observation: "Aged." They're old folks. Which implies they have lived many experiences and this just being another or one in a list of other circumstances and problems to fix.

Does that reflect the demographics of the county or the video or both?

2. Second observation:  These folks have settled and plotted in Lowndes Country.

What does plotted mean?"

5. Fifth observation. The locals see other areas (more urban) with central waste management and themselves without a central waste system for a rural county and maybe they think they "deserve" it. Now they are moving to do so.

What is the cost differential between effective septic tanks and central waste management per capita in this county?

All over this country, when large-scale projects are projected to be too much for the locals

Is this included in Biden's Infrastructure Bill?  If not, why not?  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.4  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @8.1.3    7 months ago

1. The video. I have not done "demographics" for the area. Since it is yet to be determined what the scope of the problem area is, at least by me.

2. "Plotted"? Land. Ground. As in "Settled in and retired for life."

3. Look up the cost yourself! It is a indirect issue for now. As the feds are determining what cost and cost-share will be (if anything).

4. Good question. We'll see, (as observers) if it can 'fit' into the infrastructure 'slice' for Alabama after the DOJ investigation is completed.

This is taking 'forever' for these folks. No wonder they are frustrated and despairing.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
8.2  zuksam  replied to  CB @8    7 months ago

3 out of 4 people infected with Hookworms! I'd pack my bags and be gone!

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.1  Ender  replied to  zuksam @8.2    7 months ago

I know it sounds selfish but I would be worried that they are tracking all that into town.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.2.2  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @8.2    7 months ago

hookworm-disease-causes-symptoms-diagnosis-and-treatment-1.jpg

HOOKWORMS!

Uh-uh. No Sir! No Ma'am! This is not acceptable!

UNACCEPTABLE!!!

?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sun-sentinel.com%2Fresizer%2FWNSa5Edeb2L5pFSTBIJ2rH-b8O0%3D%2F1200x0%2Ftop%2Fwww.trbimg.com%2Fimg-5c37e190%2Fturbine%2Ffl-ne-pompano-hookworm-health-dept-20190108&f=1&nofb=1

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
8.2.3  zuksam  replied to  Ender @8.2.1    7 months ago
I know it sounds selfish but I would be worried that they are tracking all that into town.

Mostly people get it by walking barefooted on soil contaminated by feces. Most people down there probably don't walk outside barefooted but they track dirt into their homes on their shoes and contaminate the carpets with the eggs and larvae then they walk barefoot on the carpet. So dirt on the shoe can be tracked to friends homes or school locker rooms, it's not highly likely but there is a risk anywhere people go barefooted in areas that others wearing shoes may have tracked in contaminated soil especially on damp surfaces like bathroom rugs, locker room floors, or public pools and swimming areas. Most Americans don't have to worry about this but these people are obviously infested, their soil is contaminated and they live in a warm moist climate so if I lived near there I wouldn't take my shoes off anywhere but home and I'd become one of those people who doesn't allow shoes to be worn in my home by anyone.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
9  charger 383    7 months ago

In Some places this would be declared uninhabitable and condemned 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
9.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  charger 383 @9    7 months ago

It’s possible that the solution will cost somebody more than the property is worth.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10  seeder  CB     7 months ago

APRIL 2022 (Update on the DOJ Investigation):

Daily Kos Staff
. . . .

Many are blaming racism for the lack of a centralized sewage system since the county is predominantly Black and has a poverty rate of 22%, about double the national average. According to NBC News, at least 40% of the county’s homes have inadequate or no sewage systems, resulting in residents having to carry PVC pipes with waste from their homes into open holes in the ground, a method known as “straight piping.”

Following complaints, the Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation in November to assess whether the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Lowndes County Health Department are operating in a manner that discriminates against Black residents.

“I think it is happening because the county is majority Black,” said Catherine Coleman Flowers, an environmental activist who grew up in the county. “We’re rural, and we may not speak standard English all the time, so people may think that we’re not smart. But we’re smart enough to know when we’re being screwed.”Flowers noted that she is also concerned that government officials can give penalties and place liens on homes that don’t have proper septic systems, even if people can’t afford them.

The investigation stems from evidence of the state and local departments' inability to deliver adequate services. The Department of Justice is examining whether the state and local departments are blocking Black peoples’ access to  adequate sanitation systems on purpose .

“We will conduct a fair and thorough investigation of these environmental justice concerns and their impact on the health, life and safety of people across Lowndes county, Alabama,” said Kristen Clarke , assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, after launching the investigation.

By blocking their sanitation systems, not only are the residents disadvantaged in terms of infrastructure, but their health is at risk since the chance of parasitic infections increases.

According to The Guardian , a 2017 study conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that hookworm was thriving in Lowndes county. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , hookworm is an intestinal parasite that was once widespread in North America but had not been detected in the U.S. since the 1980s.  The study found that one of every three adults has tested positive for hookworms.

“Sanitation is a basic human need,” Clarke said. “Bold action is needed to ensure that no one in this country is unjustifiably subjected to illness or harm resulting from inadequate access to safe sewage services.”

But lack of septic tanks and sewage are not the only issues rural Alabama faces. According to CBS News , in much of rural Alabama, there is a water crisis due to a lack of running water, indoor plumbing, and sanitation. Most of the cases were in the same county, Lowndes.

The "why" of the DOJ investigation is colored in red jrSmiley_115_smiley_image.png .  Apparently, there is "evidence" of some kind undergoing further investigation.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @10    7 months ago

Maybe the property owners don’t pay enough property tax.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.1  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @10.1    7 months ago

Why would you think so? Why speculate, I mean?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @10.1.1    7 months ago

Because the county doesn’t seem to be able to afford sewage control.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.3  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @10.1.2    7 months ago

Ahh, I can see that. It begs the question, however. An investigation is occurring to see if the evidence held proves these "shitholes" ought to have been acted on due to  health concerns, such as hookworm disease, by the health authorities.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @10.1.3    7 months ago
have been acted on due to  health concerns, such as hookworm disease, by the health authorities.

Acted with all the surplus money in the county?

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
10.1.5  zuksam  replied to  CB @10.1.1    7 months ago
Why would you think so? Why speculate, I mean?

Because everywhere else in America the local municipality funds, builds, and maintains the sewer system with money raised from property taxes. Everywhere else where it's to rural for a sewer system the Homeowner is responsible for having a septic system installed and maintained to code and the homeowner pays for it. In areas like this one where clay or a high water table creates drainage problems for standard septic systems they can build a mound type septic system. These folks are claiming racism because the state and federal government didn't take up the slack left by their incompetent local municipality but nobody else gets these things for free so why should they. They have a black majority so they should be able to elect nonracist people so if there isn't enough tax revenue to build and maintain the sewer system taxes should be raised, and for those who live to far from sewer pipes they need to pay for their own septic system just like tens of millions of other American homeowners do. I feel bad for these people, they're poor, they're sick, they're old, but this has nothing to do with racism or race. The only difference between these people and poor white people is the white people's houses would have been condemned and bulldozed because they lacked the ability to claim racism. Poor white people lose their homes every day. The black folks in this county need a reality check because their own elected officials in the county got federal money and still haven't solved to problem. These people have problems and so does their county government, but it has nothing to do with race or racism.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
10.1.6  Ender  replied to  zuksam @10.1.5    7 months ago

Where I live now I am actually county. I am not in any city limits. We have a very high water table and the neighborhood can get swampy and wet at times. They actually came out to relieve the problem and installed drainage pipes around, in people's yards. Brought in the big equipment and a big ditchwitch, dug up and in. Trying what they could to save the subdivision.

I know the circumstances are different yet I can see why people would have different opinions.

If that makes any sense.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
10.1.7  zuksam  replied to  Ender @10.1.6    7 months ago

I had a friend growing up who lived in a neighborhood like that, when the ground froze it didn't drain. We used to ice skate in his back yard in the winter.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.8  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @10.1.4    7 months ago

Don't know that. Check DOJ.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10.1.9  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @10.1.8    7 months ago

Check what?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.10  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @10.1.5    7 months ago
it has nothing to do with race or racism.

You have a fifty percent chance of being right in this assessment. But, are you SURE?  A state senator stated: "There is no easy answer and I think if there were an easy answer, it would have been fixed," said State Sen. Hank Sanders.

This problem without an "easy answer" is persistent and spanning years for these people. And now the DOJ civil rights division is federally getting involved. They are looking for a more complex answer, since their investigation is lengthy time-wise.

Furthermore, by the time poor whites lose in a governmental way - statistically poor blacks have already paid a 'cost' over the course of a lifetime. Of course, that does not speak to any one individual family or families, plural. So I realize I won't be able pull data on it.

But, you do have fifty percent chance of being right about these people, this dilemma, and their circumstance. I am not comfortable passing judgement here and now.

It's been a great discussion so far!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.11  seeder  CB   replied to  Ender @10.1.6    7 months ago

It does. And your comment bares witness. For that, I appreciate you! :)   Also, I am fully aware that different regions apply different and distinct codes and regulations by government policy and use of funds. So, this could be a 'different strokes for different folks' situation.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1.12  seeder  CB   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @10.1.9    7 months ago

DOJ!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10.1.13  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @10.1.12    7 months ago

DOJ for what?

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
11  charger 383    7 months ago

Sounds like these houses were there before buliding codes or inspections 

But, the Homeowner is responsible for having a approved working septic system or being connected to a sewer system. 

This is pollution and a health issue, a business operating with these conditions would be  shut down and fined.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
11.1  zuksam  replied to  charger 383 @11    7 months ago
a business operating with these conditions would be  shut down and fined.

In most of the country a homeowner would be fined and the home condemned then they'd have to pay to have the all contaminated dirt removed by a licensed professional and an approved septic system installed before the house was approved for habitation. This would cost between 35 and 75 grand depending on where they live and what they need. In many places it would cost much more because after a condemnation every aspect of the house may have to be brought up to code before it's approved for habitation.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
11.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  zuksam @11.1    7 months ago

When the semi-rural area of Western PA installed a sewage line in 2010, my father was assessed $22,000 for the line (over 10 years), paid another $4,000 for the hookup and had to pay additionally to have his septic tack removed.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
11.1.2  zuksam  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @11.1.1    7 months ago

The hookup sounds about right since they have to dig up the road and repave it but 22 grand to run a pipe it must have been a long run. I think I'd have bought a backhoe or excavator and done it myself then sell the machine for close to what I paid. Even if you paid someone to run the pipe the digging is what costs the most. You can buy a newish farm tractor with a loader and backhoe attachment for under 30 grand and sell it for just as much with 20-30 more hours on it. You say he was "assessed $22,000 for the line (over 10 years)" does that mean the town did the work and is charging him over ten years?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
11.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  zuksam @11.1.2    7 months ago
You say he was "assessed $22,000 for the line (over 10 years)" does that mean the town did the work and is charging him over ten years?

Yes, plus of course his monthly sewage fee.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
11.1.4  zuksam  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @11.1.3    7 months ago

At least he had that option he didn't have drop 26k on the spot. In my city you'd have to hire a contractor to run the line on your property then pay the city to do the hookup and pay them separately. I filled an old unused septic tank at my sister's old house with broken up concrete from a job I was doing, I must have put 10 tons in there then sledgehammered the top of the tank into the hole and capped it with concrete about 1.5 feet below ground level, covered it with dirt and planted some grass seed. Total cost under fifty bucks and a lot of back breaking but free labor.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
11.1.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  zuksam @11.1.4    7 months ago
I filled an old unused septic tank at my sister's old house with broken up concrete from a job I was doing,

She was lucky to have you.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
11.1.6  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @11.1    7 months ago
In most of the country a homeowner would be fined and the home condemned then they'd have to pay to have the all contaminated dirt removed by a licensed professional and an approved septic system installed before the house was approved for habitation.

I take your point here. To be clear, I am not suggesting the city take care of 'blacks,' simply because some blacks can't cope. But, poverty 'besets' certain regions of our country like a permanent scar that seeps. Thus, one wonders what the so-called, "elites" city managers and planners are doing in areas under their control when they can't  (or won't) provide proper wages to keep people from having no choice except to lay PCP piping out to spew. . . disease and infection. .  .like its early 1900s. Though it is easy to focus on these homeowners or landowners as not keeping up; remember this: health departments were established for purposes of keeping control over and tamping down sicknesses and diseases in communities.

And do consider that the DOJ Civil Rights Division does not simply "yell" racism and open a file. There is evidence of something that they have hand which allows for a file opening. There could even be charges, possible? That last is mere speculation on my part, nevertheless.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Masters Quiet
11.1.7  Jack_TX  replied to  CB @11.1.6    7 months ago
Though it is easy to focus on these homeowners or landowners as not keeping up; remember this: health departments were established for purposes of keeping control over and tamping down sicknesses and diseases in communities.

Yes, but health departments don't repair facilities.  Had they taken action, these people would have been evicted and homeless.  To be fair, that probably should have happened.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
11.1.8  seeder  CB   replied to  Jack_TX @11.1.7    7 months ago

All I am suggesting (because I certainly can't know at this point) is health departments have funding to control communicable disease. And we all should be able to agree that their are programs to help the elderly, disabled, poor that might should kick in whether than causing disordering and uprooting people who are settled. Sometimes, it is better just to fix the problem than to move the problem somewhere else or exacerbate it where it is.

According to NBC News, while t he plumbing systems in some of the houses in Smith’s neighborhood are tied to the county system , they aren’t working properly , or the connections have failed entirely.

DOJ wants to know why are these pumps not working properly.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Masters Quiet
11.1.9  Jack_TX  replied to  CB @11.1.8    7 months ago
All I am suggesting (because I certainly can't know at this point) is health departments have funding to control communicable disease. And we all should be able to agree that their are programs to help the elderly, disabled, poor that might should kick in whether than causing disordering and uprooting people who are settled. Sometimes, it is better just to fix the problem than to move the problem somewhere else or exacerbate it where it is.

Fair point.  I think this becomes a question of comparing the available funding to the projected cost.

DOJ wants to know why are these pumps not working properly.

That's going to be an easy one as soon as they answer the funding/cost question.  

The problem in depressed rural areas is that the property tax base and economic activity don't generate enough tax revenue to fix big-ticket items.  That's not unique here.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
11.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  charger 383 @11    7 months ago

just from reading what has been posted here , this is simply an investigation , it will be interesting to see what the investigation uncovers , BUT , its starting to look like instead of discrimination  that prevailing laws and regulations of sewerage were  not being followed to the  advantage of those that otherwise would have had their properties condemned as unfit for human habitation and forced to move elsewhere until things were brought up to code and sanitation regs .

And i think the ones that were doing the looking the other way knew there was no way the residents could afford to come into compliance with code and regulation.

But like i said it will be interesting to see what the investigation comes up with .

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Participates
12  Paula Bartholomew    7 months ago

Twice in the past year, management has had to have someone out to clear my sewer pipe which is a shared pipe with other units in the park.  The problem was not roots or rotting pipes.  It was assholes flushing plastic bags and handi wipes.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
12.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @12    7 months ago
It was assholes flushing plastic bags and handi wipes.

Have you let the DoJ know?

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
12.2  Ender  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @12    7 months ago

Who in the hell would flush a plastic bag. I swear.

I blame the wipes on the companies. They say they are flushable when they are still not meant to be.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
12.2.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @12.2    7 months ago
Who in the hell would flush a plastic bag. I swear.

At the health clinic where I worked years ago, parents would flush diapers instead of throwing them in the trash.  That played merry hell with the septic system.  And management wouldn't shut down even when we couldn't flush the toilets, so we had to drive a few miles away to a gas station when nature called.  Good times!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
12.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  sandy-2021492 @12.2.1    7 months ago
parent would flush diapers instead of throwing them in the trash.

That's got to be the fault of the county for failing to properly educate it's citizens.  

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
12.2.3  zuksam  replied to  Ender @12.2    7 months ago
Who in the hell would flush a plastic bag. I swear.

Jackasses !

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
12.2.4  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @12.2.1    7 months ago

I don't even see how they could do it. My luck it would get stuck and overflow.

See ya! As I am running out the door.  Haha

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
12.2.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @12.2.4    7 months ago

What really pissed us off, besides being made to work in a healthcare clinic without functioning toilets, was the fact that management blamed us until the plumbers got there and found the cause of the clog.  They called a meeting and basically told us to 'fess up.

And I don't know how they managed to flush diapers, either, but they did.  Some folks also plugged the line by flushing paper towels after drying their hands, instead of throwing them in the trash.  So this wasn't a one-time thing.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Participates
12.2.6  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  zuksam @12.2.3    7 months ago

Exactly.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
12.2.7  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @12.2.1    7 months ago

That reminds me of Kaiser Permanente's current toilets. There is some kind of 'device' in the bottom of the toilet that 'cuts up stuff' that is not fit to go down that way. Of course, there is this big "to do" warning sign about not inserting one's hand down the 'hole' for fear of pulling out a bloody pulp. (Well, we all know that sometimes the damnedest thing slips off and into the 'depths' of a commode.)

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
12.2.8  zuksam  replied to  CB @12.2.7    7 months ago
That reminds me of Kaiser Permanente's current toilets.

Those are macerator toilets. They use them when the toilet is below the sewer outlet like in a basement. It uses a maceration pump to grind up and then pump the waste to a higher level where it can flow out the regular sewer pipe. They also use maceration pumps in Campers and RV's to pump out the waste tanks. My Uncle had a macerator toilet in his basement and it was weird because it was a standard toilet that sat on a pedestal tank and the macerator pump would only run about every 8 flushes, so when the tank got full the pump would run till it was empty (about 30 seconds). I remember the first time I ever heard it run I was about 9 or 10 and used the toilet then flushed it then as I was washing my hands the pump turned on and the toilet started making this ungodly noise, I thought I had done something terrible. A note about these macerators, they are not made to grind up anything but feces and toilet paper to make it pumpable and flow better up and out, putting anything else in there will cause hundreds of dollars in damage.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
12.2.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @12.2.7    7 months ago

My son threw his toy car keys into a hospital toilet when he was a toddler.  Fortunately, the bathroom had just been cleaned (toilet seats still up, floor not quite dry), so I fished them out, threw them away, and scrubbed my hands until they were raw.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
12.2.10  seeder  CB   replied to  zuksam @12.2.8    7 months ago
macerator. . . .

Hmmm. Yummmy.   /sarcasm

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13  Transyferous Rex    7 months ago
Paul’s leased land has a septic tank that disposes of the sewage from his home. But as with too many residents of the Black Belt, his septic tank began to overflow a few years after he connected the two other homes on his property to the same septic tank.

County laws do not allow more than one tank on a piece of property unless it is surveyed and cut into smaller parcels. Because he does not own the land, this was not an option for Paul. Even if the county allowed him to install a second and third septic tank, it would have cost Paul his yearly take-home pay to install each separate tank.

“I don’t remember when it started backing up,” Paul explains, trying to recall when he noticed sewage backing up into his home. “Probably ... like seven or eight years ago, I said ‘Fuck it,’ and dug me one [for] myself.”

The above is from a 2018 article:

So much to unpack from this excerpt of the article. First, sounds like a terrible situation, and I can't imagine, and have no desire for, living in such conditions.

But, Paul's trailer is one of 3 households that was burdening one system. Not clear from the story as to whether or not the "as with many" refers to backups, or refers to more than one house hooked up to a single system. Rightfully, county laws don't allow more than one household to be hooked up to one system, as the complained of problem will result. 

Paul doesn't own the land, he is renting, but he moved a $65,000 trailer onto it. The other two trailers on the property are occupied by family. I think the article could have answered the question of who the owner is. Owner should be getting fined by the county for allowing the violation of the county law. One wonders whether or not the electricity and fresh water is also being shared. Regardless, county has apparently been looking beyond the violation of uses permitted here. That begs the simple question of why. Clearly, the county officials didn't have the foresight enough to see the resulting problem, or were simply willing to allow the residents to suffer the consequences. (maybe the county hasn't been turning a blind eye, but the fines and threats have been unheeded.)

Either way, the original issue is a local one. I can see the EPA stepping in and hitting the county for allowing this to continue. The article suggests that the county would not approve of the addition of multiple systems. Was an application for a permit filed and denied? Or, is the author simply falling back on county regs to suggest the county is the bad guy? I doubt the county was initially noticed of the placement of multiple trailers on the same lot in the first place, as that is probably not allowed either, which application would have (or should have) been denied. (Paul's had his trailer there since 1993, I'm sure the county has been aware for some time now. Plenty of time to put a stop to this, or to make some sort of correction.)

The last paragraph..."I said fuck it." Paul said "fuck it" in '93, when he put his trailer where it is, and tied in to a septic system already burdened by 2 other households. The county said "fuck it", when it turned a blind eye to the un-permitted use. Now, almost 30 years later, the DOJ is investigating to see if the county is discriminating based on race? The situation is certainly not the best, but, from reading the seeded article, and various other articles, the issue is apparently on the private side, either a private septic system or tie ins to the public system. When the private system fails, people start dumping on the ground. Who is the responsible party? The people making the shit, and dumping it on the ground because they are either illegally tied into an overburdened private septic system, or not functionally tied into the public system? Or, the county, who has apparently watched this go on for in excess of 30 years, without putting a stop to the practice? 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
13.1  Ender  replied to  Transyferous Rex @13    7 months ago

It is all strange to me. The whole thing.

Someone would have to deliver the trailers and hook them up I would think. It should have been red flags right there that they could not hook up the unit.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
13.1.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Ender @13.1    7 months ago
Someone would have to deliver the trailers and hook them up I would think. It should have been red flags right there that they could not hook up the unit.

That would depend , the company that made the trailer , likely sub contracts out a driver to deliver to final destination , or the person buying contracts someone to do that , the same can happen when it comes to hooking stuff up as well , the seller will sub contract out locally( usually cheapest bid ) or the buyer does so usually on the same premise of going with the cheapest bid .

if things are sub contracted out enough or the buyer decides to do it themselves to save money , then things can get wonky . and thats true if its a brand new trailer or prefab or someone moves a used one in .

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
13.1.2  Ender  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @13.1.1    7 months ago

Thanks. I didn't know. I thought they did it all for you, drop it off, hook it up. I have never dealt with it.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
13.1.3  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Ender @13.1.2    7 months ago

some do , some let the buyer choose , like i said , thats where things can get wonky .

 when i bought my place it was slightly crowded , the old guy that had it before me , had an old mobile home set in one of the worst places on the property he used as a hobby shack/ storage.  i bought the place and found out it was just big enough to have to pay property taxes on .

 Because it was clutter to me and i didnt like the idea of the property taxes , i contacted his local family and asked if they wanted it . they jumped on it like white on bleached rice . and they paid for everything to move it , which they did themselves , and that in itself was interesting to watch . even though it was not hooked up for water sewer or power ( guy ran an extension cord when he wanted power out there) all they had to do is put tires on the axels and hook it to a big enough truck to pull it . i doubt they even got moving permits since it never made it to the county road and it was only moved 400 ft total off my property .

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
13.1.4  zuksam  replied to  Ender @13.1    7 months ago
Someone would have to deliver the trailers

In rural areas like that with lots of trailers there are local guys who will move your singlewide anywhere you want with a farm tractor and the county may not have even known there were three trailers on that lot. In rural areas they do whatever they want because nobody can see and there's always a guy who'll hook up the electric or plumbing any way you want it.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.1.5  Transyferous Rex  replied to  zuksam @13.1.4    7 months ago
In rural areas they do whatever they want...

Rural America? That is my stomping ground. I can drive 30 minutes, any direction, and see multiple instances of what is described here, as far as trailer placement is concerned. 

And, you are correct. Most of the little trailer communities are "pop-up" communities, that are in violation of some county restrictions. Problem with enforcement is that the practice is so prevalent, the county would have to devote too many resources to it, and still would likely not resolve anything. Couple that with the fact that enforcing the law could result in displacement of thousands...I think this is an easy area to turn a blind eye to. Now, try to break a 10 acre tract up into 5 two acre tracts, to build 3,000 sf homes on? Try again. The county will enforce the 5 acre minimum for unplatted subdivisions.

The thing that gets my attention here is the investigation into allegations of racism. Poor people have poor ways, regardless of race. The DOJ isn't going to be investigating anything in my area though. Too many white and native folks. I can promise you, there are people here that are dumping their waste water on the ground, and living in the deplorable conditions described in the article. 

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.1.6  Transyferous Rex  replied to  Ender @13.1    7 months ago

If you buy new, the retailer will generally deliver and tie it down. Everything else is on the buyer. If you buy one used, you gotta figure out how to move it, and electricity and plumbing hook-ups are still on the buyer.

Zuksam is right. Around here, we call it a brother-in-law deal. No need to hire an electrician or plumber. There are several guys that can hook you up for a case of beer. Doesn't even have to be a fancy IPA from a local micro brewery. Busch or Natural Light will do just fine.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
13.1.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  Transyferous Rex @13.1.5    7 months ago

My parents live in what used to be a middle-class white neighborhood.  It is now a trashy white neighborhood, with the exception of their house and land.  The neighbor who kept his land maintained died, and his son inherited and promptly moved his wife's trashy parents and failure-to-launch younger brother (younger as in mid 40s) into a trailer on his land.  The mother-in-law throws her dishwater out the front door, so we're pretty sure there's either no septic system, or it's not working.  There is not a tree branch in human reach around their trailer that doesn't have a soda bottle stuck on it.  Real classy look.  Another house has been vacant since the tenant died over 10 years ago, and the yard there is never cut, and the roof is falling in.  A third has piles of trash everywhere, and a truck that hasn't been moved for so long there's a tree growing between the body and the bumper.  My parents are beyond pissed, because their property value has tanked due to the trashy people living around them.  They'd like to move, but can't sell their house for nearly enough to buy a decent place elsewhere.

Nothing to do with race.  Every single person living within a mile of my parents, and probably farther, is white.  It's just that a lot of them are trash.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.1.8  Transyferous Rex  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.7    7 months ago
A third has piles of trash everywhere, and a truck that hasn't been moved for so long there's a tree growing between the body and the bumper.

Ah yes, the standard redneck yard decor. I have a connoisseur down the road from me. Drive past the art display every day, with anticipation that a new piece has been added to the collection. 

All kidding aside, I have stopped and talked to the folks on a few occasions. Seem like nice people, but they literally showcase all of the stereotypes you can think of; trash, cars, broken appliances in the yard, naked/partially clothed and filthy kids playing in the road because the yard is too full of the redneck yard art, at least 5 pit bulls, a garden full of weeds, the list goes on. The garden full of weeds is as ironic as it gets, because the yard has neither grass nor weeds holding the soil in place. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.1.9  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.7    7 months ago

I am laughing at your description of reality in 'them thar parts.' I have seen this, mostly on television, and in some cases real life what you are writing about. Either up-close or driving down highways, back-roads, or freeways here in California!

I am laughing not at the people, never at the people, but at the varying 'shades' of what people, all people, find acceptable. We are some humorous creatures even when we are being serious. You should see some of what I will call 'tenement clusters' springing up as 'liberty towns' in California cities-under freeway stanchions. You can just imagine where the turn "troll" - living under a bridge- was born.

Sandy, all of you good people sharing on this article, I am so glad you are being real here. Because this is what we need to write, 'say,' and be with each other when we interact together: human beings.  Open and honest about what the "h" is going on in our spaces! Then, we can see each other. Really SEE and comprehend each other. The abstract debate becomes something touchable and 'understood' by all!

I am genuinely touched by the sincerity. Because at the end of the day, we're all just trying to survive and have a little something more.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.1.10  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13.1.8    7 months ago

I have seen quite a few examples of one of the "most defeatist behaviors imaginable' in our city proper—people who drive around town in station wagons, cars, and even vans loaded from to back with trash you can actually see through the rolled up windows when they are parked and gone "shopping." Somewhere amongst. . us!

You just go, wow! You don't know how to begin to help.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.1.11  Transyferous Rex  replied to  CB @13.1.10    7 months ago
drive around town in station wagons, cars, and even vans loaded from to back with trash

You are describing my brother. Provided a ride for him a few years back. (put his name on it, because I didn't want someone suing me, or the state sending me tickets) He sold it recently, and bought a $500 mini-van, that he carries his worldly possessions around in. That was after he left the rental house I was paying for, as well as the job a friend pulled strings to get.

Brings tears to my eyes. I've tried helping him for over 20 years. Truth is, there are some people, like my brother, that don't want aid or help, they want to be carried. And, if nobody will carry them, they choose squalor over self sufficiency or contributing to the help they may get. What do you do? He'll go dark for a while (even though he is carrying around a phone I am paying for) because he knows he is taking advantage of me. When he comes back around, I'll do what I can, despite knowing that I'm probably the enabler, and he'll likely do what he has done for over 20 years. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
13.1.12  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @13.1.9    7 months ago
I am laughing at your description of reality in 'them thar parts.' I have seen this, mostly on television, and in some cases real life what you are writing about. Either up-close or driving down highways, back-roads, or freeways here in California!

It exists everywhere.

I guess my main point was that it's not race-related, IMO.  My parents are surrounded by neighbors who live in squalor and abandoned, trashed homes, and it's not a race issue.  It's an issue of some people will get away with whatever they can get away with (no proper septic system, leaving trash and trashed cars in their yard, owning houses that are left to rot after the rental income from them dries up, etc.), because they just don't give a damn.  It's sad, but it's true.

When we moved into that house, all the homes in that neighborhood were well-maintained.  There was no trash laying in the yards, and the grass was always trimmed.  There was one vacant trailer, but even it was maintained.  And one home at a time, they declined.  There are two houses, possibly three, that should probably be condemned and demolished.  My parents have had words with some of them about neglected pets, cars parked so that they block the road, trash overflowing onto my parent's property, etc.  One family didn't know the dog they had chained outside full-time had died.  The Humane Society showed up and confiscated a bunch of neglected cats.  They do what they want, with no regard for anybody, until they get pushback, and they improve slightly for a bit.  Rinse, repeat.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.1.13  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13.1.11    7 months ago

That. . .made me cry. Because it speaks to something I was saying on another article just yesterday: We all have our 'cross' or 'crosses' to bear. And when we see the 'tragic' state that others are compelled in life to make do with. . . when we stop 'down' and go there. . . it can affect us. People are not 'broken' as we see them so, for no reason. There is always a reason, even when they can no longer, or care not to, talk about it and just exist in it. Making lemon-'ade' out of the livable acid bath of their lives. Back stories abound.  99.99 percent of humanity is doing the best they can, even when it looks like they are just standing still!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.1.14  seeder  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.12    7 months ago

I hear you. And to that I will agree and RAISE you! When you layer racism on top of a problem like this, its a force multiplier! Still I hear you loud and clear and I get it! The article on the Root points out that the article is mainly black residents to the rate of 70 plus, but the remainder is others. So the suffering is mixed to some degree.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.2  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13    7 months ago

I will read your "Root" link fresh thing - Tuesday morning. Cheers!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.3  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13    7 months ago

Finally, found the time to read this article on The Root. I have been busy this week and even now am rushing.

You're right this situation in Lowndes County, Alabama is "hella depressing." And yet you feel the desperation for where these people in this county are going to live if they are sent away or move on their own. The poverty is stifling to read about:

Paul does not live across the county line. He is one of the roughly 10,000 residents of Lowndes County, one of the poorest counties in all of America . Here, the manicured lawns and sprawling brick homes are nonexistent. In Lowndes County, poverty is a natural resource. The ground is infected with death. And Paul is right: You can smell it.

Over the last three months, I have spent countless hours in Paul’s neck of the woods. I initially came to Lowndes County after reading a story about United Nations officials who toured this region of Alabama and concluded that it has the worst poverty in the developed world. The Root thought it was important to cover the health crisis in the area after The Guardian shed light on the prevalence of a parasite usually found in developing nation s.

Transyferous Rex, good call on the article- I can feel the 'situation on the ground' through reading it through to the very end.

Now, we can see why these people need the aid: they simply don't have the income or resources in the county. One could ask why the world's most educated, advance, and one of its richest nations ( redistributing funds and aid to all sorts of nation states internationally) can afford the cost of helping a poor county with a problem that is unwieldy and a health crises.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.3.1  Transyferous Rex  replied to  CB @13.3    7 months ago

Have you looked at the area on google earth, or other satellite imaging site? Most are small, unincorporated communities, spread out over the county. Many of the sites hold 5-10 units. I'm no civil engineer, but I'd bet that a well placed lagoon system, or two, could serve the areas. I say lagoon. I don't know if Alabama allows lagoons, but the allegation is that the clay rich soil doesn't really allow for a traditional leach field. I know the struggle there, as I live in a clay rich area. Aerobic systems are probably too costly. 

Now, we can see why these people need the aid: they simply don't have the income or resources in the county.

I don't have issue giving aid, where it is needed. My issue is the apparent fact that this has been ongoing for at least 3 decades, and more likely a lot more. With a population of 10,000 county wide, there clearly has not been a boom in population. Over the course of the last 30 years, this could have been addressed, one bite at a time, instead of trying to down the entire steak in one bite.

One could ask why the world's most educated, advance, and one of its richest nations ( redistributing funds and aid to all sorts of nation states internationally) can afford the cost of helping a poor county with a problem that is unwieldy and a health crises.

There's one of the rubs. I hate to be overly cynical, but I'll admit that I am. This kind of stuff is ripe for misuse of funding. I'd be surprised if there hasn't already been some funding of some sort. Somehow, funding doesn't always find its way to the intended goal or target. Not to say that such a prospect should prevent funding. Somehow, the money grubbers seem to find their way to a position where they can get their grub on though.

And, I feel you. With the aid that we provide around the world, and the resources at hand, seems like this should not be an issue here. But, it is. Do we quit sending aid to places where the people would slit throats to be in a position the folks that are the subject of the article are in? No. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.3.2  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13.3.1    7 months ago

I mean we "shit" money-excuse the gross pun-to facilitate life in other parts of the world. We have advocacy groups that want to save tigers, elephants, and dogs! I mean really?! If we want to save animals-just let them 'roam' in assigned areas free to come and go and eat as they see fit. These organizations want donations!

Here is a people-centric cause-celeb going uncured in the world's foremost democracy. People littering their surrounding grounds with festering pockets of shit and piss and doing so for thirty years or so - to little or no uproar. People are literally writing press releases about the smells emanating from. . .a county. Where is Alabama's shame? Have the up-wind "community" no sense of esprit de corps? The spirit of the thing? Help! Send it the See-bees!

Because if you can discern untreated waste with a nose, respiratory systems are being impacted as well.  Talk about 'shit' being breathed 'down-stream.'

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
13.3.3  Transyferous Rex  replied to  CB @13.3.2    7 months ago
I mean really?! If we want to save animals -just let them 'roam' in assigned areas free to come and go and eat as they see fit.

Every time I see the 2 minute commercial for the ASPCA , I wonder how much money people give. I also wonder how much they spend for the 2 minute spot.

30 million raised, according to the article. Sarah needs to do a 2 minute spot for the children. 

I did see where Lowndes County is trying to land a casino. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.3.4  seeder  CB   replied to  Transyferous Rex @13.3.3    7 months ago

I 'heard' that! If we got 'real' we would run ad spots showcasing American counties in need of relief! Lowndes County with a casino; wonder if it can help?  In California, the NA casinos are 'pissed' because they are being encroached on my 'big-box' competition putting propositions to the citizenry to "let them in" to the state with online gambling. It kind of defeats the purpose of helping Native people generationally to help themselves over time.

 
 

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