Jul 28, 2021

Centreville, Illinois, Residents Sue Over Sewage and Storm Water Flooding

The lawsuit is in response to years of raw sewage pollution and storm water flooding in the community’s homes, yards and streets.


The community group Centreville Citizens for Change and more than two dozen residents sued Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District and the City of Cahokia Heights, Illinois in federal court. 

According to EarthJustice, this lawsuit is in response to years of raw sewage pollution and storm water flooding in the community’s homes, yards and streets. This resulted from the defendants’ severely deteriorated, malfunctioning, and poorly designed sanitary sewer and storm water systems, according to the lawsuit. Centreville Citizens for Change is an organization made up of residents of the predominantly Black community of Centreville.

In the lawsuit, Centreville Citizens for Change alleges that Commonfields has been discharging raw sewage into this residential community in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

Centreville Citizens for Change and the residents are seeking a court order to stop the illegal discharges, and also seeking damages for the sewage and flooding issues that have impacted yards and homes, reported EarthJustice. 

According to residents, many of them cannot use their yards and have had to make repairs to their homes. Another lawsuit is in the works, by two additional, individual residents who are suing Commonfields and Cahokia Heights for the damage caused by sewage and storm water system failures.

Centreville Citizens for Change gave Commonfields a 60-day notice in April that it would sue under the CWA. According to the notice, the District has been discharging raw sewage from its sanitary sewer system in Centreville, and this water flows into the Mississippi River and its tributaries, reported EarthJustice. 

The notice alleges that the District discharges sewage from a ditch and pipe on the block of North 82nd Street, between North 80th Street and Bluff Street, a residential area.

The group is represented by Earthjustice and individual residents are represented by Equity Legal Services and the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council. These three organizations and the Natural Resource Defense Council are also partnering with residents to advocate for the end of the sewage discharges and storm water overflows.

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