Lawsuit filed against Metro East water district in attempt to stop chronic flooding


CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill.– Residents in the Centreville area are fed up with flooding and today a group of concerned citizens filed a lawsuit to stop the problem.

Centreville Citizens for Change and more than two dozen residents are filing litigation to seek relief from a court and to get an order to require Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District to stop the sewage crisis in the area.

The group says Commonfields of Cahokia Public Water District has been discharging raw sewage from its sewer system in Centreville. The group also says the foul water flows into the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

“Despite endless pleas from the members of Centreville Citizens for Change and this legal team, no government agency has solved the problem. No community should be expected to live without a working sewer system,” said Debbie Chizewer with Earthjustice.

One homeowner took part in today’s press conference to share her stories about flooding in the area. She said her basement would constantly flood and she eventually had to pay for it to be waterproofed. She said her mother’s basement foundation is so bad animals are getting into her house.

Recently, Centreville merged with two other municipalities to create Cahokia Heights. The homeowner thought that would bring change but she is still waiting for improvements.

FOX2 has previously reported on problems in the area. In March, Dick Durbin visited the area and promised improvements.

Durbin said they want to find out if there are resources they can bring in to spare these people the heartache and the damage they go through regularly because of the flooding in their neighborhood and homes.

The Cahokia Height’s mayor says the city is extremely disappointed that it did not receive the $22M Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant award to fix the flooding and sewage issues plaguing our community.

Mayor Curtis McCall Sr. said in lieu of the much-needed funding we have done: smoke testing, maintained, checked, and replaced several lift stations, repaired 370 feet of the sewer main, dredged ditches, and will continue to do everything we can to address the problem.

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