MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — Residents in Morgan County have been complaining for months about the foul smell coming from a local farm.
Folks who do not live there are mistaking the smell for chicken litter, but it’s not. It’s sludge containing particles from dead chickens themselves and it’s affecting the way of life in the area.
Janice Williams of Falkville says she can’t go outside anymore.
“I try to come outside and do my yard work but it’s hard to do it with this smell,” Williams told News 19. “You can’t stand outside very long at a time. It smells like something dead… Something rotten.”
Williams says her house is located right behind the main area of the worst odor she’s ever had to endure. On a warm day, she wants to turn on the air conditioner but she can’t.
“Sometimes the air conditioner will pull it in the house, I guess from the vents,” Williams said. “I don’t know but sometimes I can smell it in the house.”
That smell is described as by environmentalists as food waste byproducts, but, it’s actually poultry sludge from dead chickens and other waste from processing plants dumping on Hidden Valley Farm and into the water. The farm is owned by Denali Water Solutions.
“It’s horrible and where do go when you’re at home and who do you turn to when you need help,” said Danville resident Barbara Crow.
Crow says that she has seen the 18-wheelers hauling in the waste and dumping it in her neighborhood. After attending meetings and sending in several complaints, she’s well informed about who it is and has a good idea of why it’s being done.
“The state, the federal, the EPA they should have laws that require the corporations to explain why they are going to have a byproduct and what they are going to do with it instead of passing it off to a third person instead of going to hide it away in the country which is what they are doing to us,” Crow continued.
Shirley Wilbanks of Falkville says the residents desire to return to a normal life.
“You can’t wear a mask because you can’t breathe,” Wilbanks said. “I just wish that somebody can do something about it for us.”
News 19 reached out to Denali Water Solutions but did not receive a response. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) says that they plan to release a statement about the issue.