According to Kay Kiker who heads the Industrial Board for the town of York, for years the water supply in most of Sumter county has been a case of environmental injustice!
"Our water is dirty, too dirty to drink!"
Although the water on Tuesday looked a little cloudy in some parts of the town, Kiker says all too often in the county as a whole, it's much worse!
"It looks like dark tea or your bath water will be filthy and you think, 'I think I'm going to be dirty when I get out of this!’ "
However, according to Kiker, the problem in the town of York has been the old age of the system. This is something which is now being addressed. In fact, she says the town has received more than $3 million to build three new tanks at a new site.
York resident Mildred Black, who is the wife of Alabama state Rep. Lucious Black, donated land for the construction.
"I thought it was a pretty good idea," says Black.
As for the new site, it will be located about 20 miles outside town in the Kinterbish Two community. While we're told that work has not yet begun on the project; it's said that once started it will take about a year to complete.
Meanwhile, Kiker says another concern is the water supply for the northern part of Sumter County which is channeled from a site near a chemical water plant in the Emelle community. Chemical Waste Management is the largest toxic waste dump in the country.
"All dumps leak according to the Environmental Protection Agency," says Kiker, "and eventually it will show up in the water."
According to Kiker, her concern is what long-term affects a possible leak could have. Over the years she says state agencies have been contacted about the issue with very little action. Despite this, she's calling on residents to continue the fight to address the issue.
"They have other communities that have bigger voices than we do, so we have to keep on them."