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Baldwin County Sewer Service

Baldwin County, AL: (Aug-14-07) The residents of Baldwin County brought charges against the privately owned Baldwin County Sewer Service, alleging that crossed pipes directed human waste into their drinking water. The complaint filed in Baldwin County Circuit Court alleged, among other things, negligence and wantonness on the part of the Baldwin County Sewer Service and the city of Fairhope. The suit claimed that the residents subsequently cooked with raw sewage, drank raw sewage, bathed in raw sewage, brushed their teeth with raw sewage, cleaned their homes and personal property with raw sewage and served raw sewage to their families and friends over a period of several months. Residents claimed that despite complaints to the city about foul drinking water, the situation went unchecked.

In December 2006, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) proposed a $100,000 fine against the Foley-based sewer company, which is run by Clarence Burke. The order revealed errors that led to the mix-up that created the potential for sickness of residents in the subdivision near Fish River. At the time, ADEM gave the sewer company the chance to fix some of the problems and reduce the fine by as much as $75,000. While a majority of the roughly two dozen adult residents have settled civil claims against the sewer service, they each still have a similar case pending against the city of Fairhope. The recent action involved a single lawsuit that resulted when multiple cases were consolidated. Lawyers involved in the settlement declined to disclose details about the agreements, including what type of health problems may have resulted from the error and amounts of damages paid by the private utility to the customers. [PRESS REGISTER: RAW SEWAGE]

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Published on Aug-15-07


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