On Tuesday July 11th, a massive spill of up to 1,000,000 gallons of sewage occurred at the Oxford Tull C Allen Wastewater Treatment Plant adjacent to Choccolocco Creek. Coosa Riverkeeper is advising the public to avoid recreation in the middle section of Choccolocco Creek from Oxford towards Jackson Shoals until the next available Swim Guide results on Friday July 14th out of an abundance of caution. Oxford is the defendant in two ongoing lawsuits initiated by allegations made by Coosa Riverkeeper due to widespread issues at the facility including excessive E. coli and chlorine discharges into the creek. Coosa Riverkeeper is being represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.
According to a report filed by Oxford Tuesday, the spill was caused by a malfunction at the Plant and lasted from midnight until 3am Tuesday morning. Signs were posted at the location of the spill, but this is the extent to which the public was notified insofar as Riverkeeper can determine. The Oxford Water Works & Sewer Board’s website did not contain information about the spill. Coosa Riverkeeper, along with seven other Riverkeepers in Alabama, earlier this year filed a petition with the Environmental Management Commission to improve public notification of sewage spills. The petition was denied but the Commissioners pledged to work towards that end.
On Friday around noon, Coosa Riverkeeper will publish the most recently available water quality data for Choccolocco Creek near the facility. The information can be viewed at www.CoosaRiver.org/SwimGuide or you can receive a text message notification when new data is available by texting “SWIMGUIDE” to 844-83.