Sylacauga reef update

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SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WIAT) – Cleaning up an environmental hazard in sylacauga is proving to be a tough task.

16 Million gallons of wastewater still sits inside the fenceline of the abandoned wastewater treatment plant.

The EPA wants to discharge it into the nearby Shirtee Creek. They ran a test recently to decide if the waste water was safe . But Jason Booth says there was a problem.

“When we did a toxicity study We found out it’s the salt and sodium and potassium, calcium is causing the fish to be killed. It wasn’t good.”

Booth says the problem can and will be addressed by some of the wastewater being pumped into a grassy area on site.

Booth says the water isn’t a hazard for the soil.

But when they begin releasing some wastewater into Shirtee Creek that’s the water that has to be as clean as humanly possible.

Booth admits it has been a difficult clean up. “Even PhD’s who’ve been in the waste water business for 20 to 30 years have had a hard time with this site.”

Ken Abernathy moved backed to Sylacauga to retire and he took his concerns about the odor directly to the reefs owners, years ago. The response left him angry.

“I said, I wanta know what’s happening over here. He took a deep breath and said I don’t smell anything. And, I said well fellow you need to come here about one in the morning when we get up gagging and coughing and have nose bleeds. We have literally begged for clean air.”

Two million taxpayer dollars have been allocated to tackle the clean up. About $500,000 is left. The EPA hopes it has enough to finish the job.

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