Aderholt challenger in U.S. House race says more should be done to address Lawrence County water issue

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. -- It's been more than two weeks since we shed light on issues surrounding Lawrence County's drinking water, yet few state officials have responded to our requests for answers.

Democratic nominee Lee Auman is running for Alabama's District 4 congressional seat, a position currently held by U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt. After watching WHNT's Taking Action Investigation, Auman described the report as eye-opening.

"I had no idea the extent... so I was a little bit floored to learn the entire county was struggling with basic clean water issues," Auman said.

He believes polluters should be held accountable for their actions. Auman says he's disappointed elected officials haven't done more to help the people of Lawrence County.

In 2016, the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority installed a carbon filtration system to filter out PFOA and PFOS. However, officials at the WMEL water authority say they need a reverse osmosis system. The reverse osmosis system comes with a price tag of $25 million. The water authority is currently suing 3M to pay for the permanent filtration system.

"We don't need settlements," Auman said. "We need handcuffs for some of the CEOs, for people that are willfully putting chemicals and poison into the water and harming people. We don't need to settle. "

WHNT reached out to U.S. Rep. Aderholt, and he says his office has been working to find financial assistance through federal funding.

"Since this issue first came to light two years ago, my office has worked with the water authority to assist them in applying for federal grants to improve the water quality," Aderholt said, in a statement. "And we continue to stand ready to help with any future requests they may have."

We're continuing to press federal and state officials for a response on how they are helping the residents of Lawrence County.