septic systems

sewage
Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — How much untreated sewage gets dumped in Alabama's Black Belt?

That's the question a team of students and professors at the University of Alabama is trying to determine.

In many parts of the Black Belt, homeowners are resorting to "straight pipe" systems to dispose of wastewater and sewage, rather than sewers or septic tanks because of a type of thick, clay soil and widespread poverty across isolated areas.

sewage
Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

A new report on sanitation and drinking water has singled out Lowndes County, Alabama for its widespread lack of sewage systems for its residents.

According to the report from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, around 80 percent of Lowndes County residents don’t have access to municipal waste treatment and have to install their own septic systems. Those systems can cost up to $30,000 thanks to the type of soil in the area, and the median household income in Lowndes County is just $26,000.