RIVERKEEPERS CONCERNED AFTER NORTHPORT SEWAGE SPILL

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road work

By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Jack Royer

The City of Northport was still in cleanup mode <span class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_341116694″><span class=”aQJ”>Wednesday</span></span> evening after a weekend sewage spill dumped an estimated 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Black Warrior River. Fifth Street in downtown Northport remained closed until <span class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_341116695″><span class=”aQJ”>7 p.m.</span></span> as repairs continued.

“Is there room for improvement? Yes. There’s always room for improvement,” said Mayor Bobby Herndon <span class=”aBn” tabindex=”0″ data-term=”goog_341116696″><span class=”aQJ”>on Tuesday</span></span> as a bewildered city quickly tried to correct the problem.

Black Warrior Riverkeeper Nelson Brooke said he’s concerned, since the city was ill-prepared to manage a spill like this.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that we’re this many days past the accident and they’re still not releasing numbers,” Brooke said. He said he’s critical of Northport’s ability to notify the public of the accident and prevent many from swimming in contaminated water, especially on a holiday weekend when the river an attraction to many.

Riverkeeper is a nonprofit, not publicly funded organization that works to protect Alabama rivers. Nelson Brooke said he wants to see his organization and state agencies work more closely together to prevent another incident like this, or be better prepared for an accident in the future.

“We want to be a part of their discussions and deliberations over how to do this better in the future,” Brooke said.

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