Sumter County residents experience sewage problems

EMELLE, Ala.(WTOK) - Sumter County resident Rosie Bradley lives in Emelle and says she can't stand the smell that's floating around town.

Bradley said she later learned that dozens of sewage pumps were installed incorrectly, causing sewage water to seep outside and release smelly fumes.

"It’s raining today, it's running to my front door,” said Bradley. “It's very inconvenient for my mom because she can't wash, take a bath, do like she wants to because her pump don't work, it can back up in her house."

Residents in the area say in 2012, some Sumter County leaders said residents needed to switch over to the current sewage system immediately to save money.

Sumter County Sewer Authority member Steve Boyd said unfortunately, the multi-million dollar system installed by Sentell Engineering has failed. Boyd told Newscenter 11 he feels the area has been taken advantage of.

"That’s why we were given a $32,000 grant to hire an engineering company to come and assess and figure out what was wrong,” said Boyd.

The study shows that at least 30 residents have sewage pumps that aren't working properly and it costs $3,000 just to fix one of those pumps.

"We need it immediately, I just would like to have some direction of who do I talk to, to try to get this system patched until we can get it replaced,” said Boyd.

Boyd said there's an ongoing lawsuit between the sewer authority and Sentell.