Residents describe deplorable water conditions

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Green water, dangerous chemicals and upset residents — that seems to be the situation in one Dothan neighborhood.

“I guess cause we ain’t rich, y’all don’t care about us,” said resident Dexter Owens. “Help us out. Please.”

Residents in and around the old Tri-State Plant Food Site said they are fed up with what, they say, is undrinkable, dirty and dangerous water.

“Something is wrong with my water,” said resident Brenda Thomas. “My water smells like sewer.”

“This might be clear, but the neighborhood is still contaminated,” said former resident James Curtis Harvey, Sr.

Back in December 2018, ExxonMobil released a fact sheet that said “inorganic compounds, including arsenic and lead” were found on the site in groundwater and soil.

WDHN spoke with the Houston County Health Department to learn more about the dangers of arsenic and lead.

It’s important to note the department did not offer an opinion on this specific case. It only explained what possible health concerns arsenic and lead could cause.

“Arsenic is a little different too in that it depends on the form,” said Public Health Administrator Corey Kirkland. “It can cause things like nausea, vomiting, tired, weakness. Lead can cause behavior problems, learning problems (and) irritability.”

Many residents said they have already experienced health issues.

“I had to go to the doctor because I had an infection in my stomach,” Thomas said. “They said it could have been from something I ate or drank.”

“It’s getting people sick,” Owens said. “We’ve got to take our children to the doctor. Mine is going to the doctor tomorrow. Everybody’s sick. We need some help. Please. Please help us.”

WDHN will be talking to other residents and will continue to follow this story in the upcoming days.

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