Some Parrish residents want sewage sludge moved out of town

Some Parrish residents want sewage sludge moved out of town
(Source: Joshua Gauntt/WBRC)

PARRISH, AL (WBRC) - A smelly situation playing out in federal court has now, at least temporarily, moved into Walker County and some of the new neighbors aren't too happy about it.

The smell from sewage sludge in West Jefferson is now lingering in neighborhoods a dozen or more miles away in Parrish. Residents tell us they have been smelling it for days.

"I'm not too happy about it considering the fact of its right here in our front yard," one resident who didn't want us to reveal his identity said. "When you turn the air conditioning on at night sometimes and its coming through the air conditioner."

A recent federal injunction in the case between West Jefferson and Big Sky Environmental stopped the flow of sewage sludge in West Jefferson. That's after hundreds of people complained about the smell. The sludge has now temporarily moved down the railroad tracks in Parrish. Over 200 containers now sit on the tracks just off Highway 269 across from the old high school.

"Those cars were already in route to West Jefferson, had nowhere to go. So Big Sky environmental worked with Norfolk Southern to get them as close as they could and this is where they came," Parrish Mayor Heather Hall said.

We're told the containers have been on the tracks for several days. Parrish's mayor has spoken to Big Sky environmental management who says the sewage isn't hazardous.

"Am I happy it's here? No. But it's not this dangerous thing that people are being made to believe. They are lining the cars with lime. They have a fragrance control protocol that they are about to put into effect just to make sure that we do not receive any of those odors," Hall said.

Hall says the containers should be moved out in the coming days. She says the Alabama Department of Environmental management will be in town Wednesday morning to make sure that sewage isn't hazardous to the public. We'll keep you updated on what ADEM finds.

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