Hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage flow into Tuscaloosa rivers after Tropical Storm Cindy

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Tuscaloosa is dealing with a number of sewage overflows that have happened in the past week as a result of Tropical Storm Cindy.

Eleven spills have occurred since last Thursday, dumping thousands of gallons of sewage into creeks and into the Black Warrior River.

University of Alabama student Jordan Rodgers and her friend said that news was very concerning to them. The two spent several hours kayaking on the Black Warrior River on Tuesday afternoon.

“When we got into the water, were talking about how good the water felt,” Rodgers said. “But now we are cringing, knowing that we were putting our hands and feet in the water and it’s all over us in the boat and stuff.  It is concerning and kind of yucky knowing that now.”

One of the biggest overflow spills dumped 470,000 gallons of sewage into the river from lift station 3 on Jack Warner Parkway. Jarrod Milligan, Tuscaloosa’s Director of City Infrastructure and Public Services, told CBS42 News that the City is working to fix the overflow problems and that they do not affect drinking water.

Because of all the overflow issues in the past five days, workers put up signage to alert the public in the affected areas.  The City is also investing $20 million into projects to improve waste water infrastructure facilities.

“The pipes will be enlarged so they will have more capacity, and lift stations will have larger wet wells and holding tanks to be able to catch the surge of storm water during a rain event.”

Rodgers is thankful city leaders are fixing the issues, but still has concerns.

“I probably won’t want to put my hands in the water,” Rodgers said. “I would still love to come out here but will be more cautious now probably.”

This year in Tuscaloosa there has been 55 total sewage spill overflows.

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