Making a Stink

For as long as Abril and Ariss Cosino could remember, the noxious odor had been part of life in South Tower Estates, an unincorporated community of 3,300 near the Texas-Mexico border. Residents complained about it and told their children not to play outside on days when it was particularly bad. But the sisters didn’t know what was causing the rotten-egg smell until they participated in a summer leadership program organized by the nonprofit A Resource in Serving Equality. That’s when they learned about the antiquated wastewater lagoons across the street from their house, hidden by an embankment and a barbed wire fence. “The sewage doesn’t even come from our neighborhood,” Ariss explains. It’s sent there by the adjacent city of Alamo. “As Hispanic, low-income people, we have to deal with their stuff. When we found that out, we wanted to do something.” Keep reading at Sierra.

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