Some Acreage flood victims are using buckets instead of toilets

Flushing releases raw sewage

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Tom Richardson owns two acres of land in The Acreage.  Only an eighth of an acre is currently above water - and the water stinks. 

"What we're smelling is sewage; human waste," he said. 

Richardson and his roommate, Amy, have not been using their septic system for days.  The say anytime they flush their toilet, their overwhelmed tank would release raw sewage into the water surrounding their home.  Neighbors, Richardson says, still continue to flush.

"It makes its way into the water," he said.  "When it gets flushed, it seeps out across."  The pair has resorted to more primitive measures, using buckets instead of a toilet.  "Buckets," said Richardson.  "And take it with you when you go.  It's the only option."

Another Acreage resident, Russ Post, was among the hundreds in the area receiving help from the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army days after Tropical Storm Isaac arrived and dumped a record amount of water on the area.

"Knowing that it's my turn to get something, I don't really mind because I've helped out before getting stuff for other people," said Post.

Richardson and his roommate needed some assistance as well.  The pair picked up a 'clean up kit' from the American Red Cross station that was set up in Loxahatchee close to their home.  Unable to drink their own water or flush their own toilet, they watch as the flood waters slowly recede.  "It's more frustration than anger," said Richardson.  "I'm fed up."

The health department is advising residents to avoid coming in contact with standing water.  If residents do need to wade through it, experts advise washing with soap and clean water as soon as possible.  Keeping hand sanitizer at the ready is also a recommendation of health officials.

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