JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A new report finds raw sewage in several bodies of water in Jefferson County.
"When you flush the toilet, we're talking about this is the pipe that everything goes to when you flush the toilet, and it's not been treated yet and it's spilling out into a local waterway," said Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper.
We asked Nelson to show us how to find out what's in your water.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) recently unveiled a new warning, where residents can sign up to be quickly alerted to what's known as sanitary sewer overflows.
"They have an email signup on the left side. You should be getting an email notification within 24 hours," said Brooke.
You'll be able to access a map, which if expanded out will show all overflows in the state that are either active, or that have been stopped within the last 10 days.
"It's color coded, so blue being the least and red being the worst," Brooke continued.
if you click on the dot, it tells you where it is and if waterways are affected.
"The estimated volume of the discharge. In this case 1,935,000 gallons took place over multiple days," said Brooke.
As helpful as the ADEM site is, Brooke says he believes there are several kinks that still need to worked out. That's why he thinks it's important to monitor county websites, like Jefferson County's, that keeps up with overflows as well.