You wouldn’t want to drive around on these roads because it has so many potholes. You wouldn’t want to be here certain times of the day because the odor gets so bad. You wouldn’t want to be here when my sewage backs up because of the problem with the city sewage. You don’t want to be around the possibility of what coal ash can cost you. Visit at your own risk. How do I feel to live in a town with so many issues? Helpless. When you’re talking about Uniontown, the town has so many issues that sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all of the many different things that are going on there. But today, we’re focusing on their wastewater treatment system, their sewage system, which is broken in a lot of different ways that manifests in some pretty smelly results in the town. Basically, the sewage collection system leaks. That means it both lets sewage out around the manholes and it lets rainwater in, and in fact, it lets so much rainwater in that every time it rains in Uniontown their sewage system is completely flooded and the treatment processes that they have set up there don’t work. We have had some serious issues with our sewage, and this has been going on for decades, decades, and that’s that never should have happened. The sewer pipes that are supposed to take everything from all the houses, they carry all of that material to a lagoon. The lagoon has three cells where basically the materials supposed to get treated along the way, and then once it passes its way through the lagoon it gets pumped to what’s called a spray field, which is exactly what it sounds like. Most of the time in a spray field it’s supposed to get absorbed back into the ground or evaporate into the air. In Uniontown, the soil has so much clay in it that the water just doesn’t percolate. Where you’re supposed to have a field with grasses, where the water is gently absorbed, basically you just have a pond. And that pond every time it rains is just completely inundated. The lagoon dam have burst and it is constantly running into Freetown Creek. That sewage once it reaches Freetown Creek it keeps flowing down to Gee’s Bend which flows into the Alabama River. Are anyone screaming about what they’re causing? What type pain and impact they’re causing people downstream? No. When this partially treated sewage gets released, there’s a lot of bacteria in it that could be harmful for you if you come in contact with it. Whenever there is a sanitary sewer overflow or sewage spill, those are supposed to be reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and to the public, as well. A big problem here is that Uniontown does not have a lot of financial resources. They actually received a grant from the US Department of Agriculture for four point eight million dollars to address some of these issues. People in the community were saying that grant money is wasted because they don’t see any improvements. The engineering company who received that grant says they did all they could with the amount of funding they had. Sentell Engineering is the company that’s been working with the town of Uniontown and they’ve proposed five different options for big picture fixes for the system. These five options all cost more than twenty million dollars. Some of them involve building a modern wastewater treatment plant. The option that the Uniontown City Council has voted to go with is a different option. They are planning to, if they can find the money, construct a wetland treatment process. After the sewage goes through the lagoon, it would be discharged into a created wetlands where you would have cattails and other plants to try and naturally absorb some of the nutrients from the wastewater and kind of finish the treatment process and get the water clean enough to where it’s able to be discharged into the creek. Come on, you’re gonna pump sewage out in a pond and expect for vegetation to clean it? You’re talking about a half a million gallons of water a day with a half million gallons of bacterias a day? It’s not gonna happen, and I’m quite sure they know this. It sucks, all the way around. To build an actual wastewater treatment plant would not be that much more expensive than the wetland option that they’re considering up front. The difference is that if you build a wastewater treatment plant, you have to hire people to operate it. It’s going to be a continual expenditure. In my opinion, the only thing to fix it and not have to worry about it later on is a mechanical treatment plant, and I say that because a mechanical treatment plant will allow you to have growth. I’m not the type of person who wants to fix something just to fix it for me, but then there are other people that coming along behind me. They are receiving all of the less desirable aspects of our modern life. They have the landfill. They have a sewage system that doesn’t work, so they have to deal with that. They have a cheese plant that a lot of people complain about the odors. I think the landfill accepts trash from 30 states. The coal ash from the Kingston, Tennessee dam breach is in that landfill. The people who live there would say that those industries land in Uniontown because the perception is that the community, they’re too poor they’re too black, and they feel like people go there because they won’t fight back. We don’t want to feel embarrassed just being a resident of Uniontown because of all the problems we have. We want people to be able to come to our home and enjoy themselves and leave with a positive thought more so than a negative. Do I have hope for Uniontown that this will get fixed? That’s what keeps me going, is to have hope.