"60 Minutes: Americans Fighting For Access To Sewage Disposal"

"Lowndes County, Alabama, which sits between Selma and Montgomery, was once called Bloody Lowndes for its central role in the struggle for civil rights. Today people in Lowndes are fighting for another basic right: access to sewage treatment. By some estimates more than half the impoverished, rural residents have raw sewage running into their yards and even their houses. Catherine Coleman Flowers, a White House adviser and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, is turning a spotlight on this long-standing public health failure. She says it's a problem, found in other parts of Alabama and all over the country, which even the millions of dollars in new infrastructure spending are unlikely to fix. Flowers brought us home to Lowndes County to see what she calls America's dirty secret. We warn you, it can be hard to watch.

Lowndes County is in one of the most neglected corners of the country. The poverty rate in this majority-Black county is double the national average. Cell phone service is a luxury and so, incredibly, is sewage treatment. Like most states, Alabama requires sanitary sewage disposal. But outside a handful of small towns here, sewage treatment is not provided and for many people, private systems, usually a septic tank, are unaffordable.

It's a public health crisis, one community advocate Catherine Coleman Flowers has been raising hell about for 20 years."

Bill Whitaker reports for 60 Minutes/CBS News December 19, 2021.

Source: CBS News, 12/21/2021