SOUTH ROXANA, Ill. - Raw sewage has been leaking into a Metro East lagoon for more than 24 hours and the EPA is allowing it to happen.
The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing the sewage to be sent to the lagoon because the other option at the time was backing up the sewer and sending the sewage into residents' homes.
"It's just nasty," said Tammy Stormer, who lives near the wastewater treatment plant in South Roxana and says she can smell the sewage.
"When you came into the house you kind of can smell it, going to the laundry room that's where you can smell it the most," she said.
Mayor Kenneth Beasley says the mess started Tuesday around 11 a.m. when the village's two pumps malfunctioned. They had to make an emergency decision to stop the sewage from backing up, so they put this hose in place.
For the past day and a half the village's raw sewage has been traveling through this hose to an overgrown lagoon.
"It's got a berm around it and years ago that's where all the raw sewage went," said Beasley.
Wednesday night the village crews were busy stopping the flow to the lagoon and using temporary pumps to send sewage as it normally would to a nearby facility.
"They go from one deep well to another deep well and from that well it's pumped out," said Beasley.
Residents say they didn't know about the issue but are concerned for their health.
"We already got the plants over here and then you got that over there, I mean that's toxic to everybody," said Stormer.
The EPA is expected to come out Thursday morning to help the village clean up the lagoon. The mayor says their pumps should be fixed in about a week, but there's no word yet on how much this will cost them.