Groundwater continues to cause concern

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Reports of contaminated groundwater continue to pour in.

Dothan Utilities cleared up what it says was a misconception in WDHN’s original report. According to the department, water that is provided by Dothan Utilities and that is flowing through residents’ pipes and into their homes, is completely safe.

“(The) arsenic and lead that they’re talking about from this plant site, there is no relationship between that plant site and our water system,” said Dothan Utilities Director, Billy Mayes.

Instead, it’s the groundwater that travels downstream from the old fertilizer plant on Burdeshaw Street that is causing the concern.

Back in December 2018, ExxonMobil released a report that confirmed arsenic and lead were found in the plant site’s groundwater and soil.

Residents told News 18 the neighborhood has suffered from dangerous groundwater and soil for years — dating back to the late 1990’s and stemming from the fertilizer plant’s grounds.

“When we started complaining, we started gathering evidence on what the fertilizer plant was doing, we started walking the area,” said former resident James Curtis Harvey, Sr. “At that time, we got in the yard and walked behind the houses because people were living there and we saw this green slime on the ground and kids were playing out there.”

Currently, the City of Dothan is working to clear the site by removing contaminated dirt to another location.

Yet, residents say water is continuing to seep into the ground and flow into the streets and below their homes.

“When the water comes down, it runs it right off here and then it turns white and everything it touches, it turns it white,’ said resident Joel Coleman.

There are reports that the old plant site has been declared a Brownfield Site, but at this time, that is unconfirmed.

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