Health Concerns For Scott County Residents


DISCLAIMERThe following article is from the Arkansas Review, is not responsible for the contents therein.  The article is used by permission for the purpose of public notification.  Thomas Wright is a party in the case of Potter v Holmes and is the father of Cassuandra Holmes.

Arkansas Review has learned that the owner of property located at 307 Wright Road, Waldron (Scott County, Arkansas 72958 has been allegedly been engaged in illegal disposal of human waste for decades.  The property owner listed is Thomas Ray Wright.

Wright has been known to not have a septic tank and has been discharging human waste from his home in violation of environmental laws.

Any resident or property owner near the affected property and near the Poteau River who has concerns or information in this case should complete the online complaint form below.  Residents may also contact the district inspector for Scott County directly:  Matt Ridale, (479) 453-9573.

Property of Thomas Ray Wright

Human waste is considered a biowaste, as it is a vector for both viral and bacterial diseases. It can be a serious health hazard if it gets into sources of drinking water. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that nearly 2.2 million people die annually from diseases caused by contaminated water. A major accomplishment of human civilization has been the reduction of disease transmission via human waste through the practice of hygiene and sanitation, which can employ a variety of different technologies.

Thomas Ray Wright
Thomas Ray Wright

Sewage-contaminated water causes eutrophication, which is the increase in concentration of chemical elements required for life. The nitrates, phosphates, and organic matter found in human waste serves as a food for algae and bacteria. This causes these organisms to overpopulate to the point where they use up most of the dissolved oxygen that is naturally found in water, making it difficult for other organisms in this aquatic environment to live. The bacteria are basically strangling the other organisms. Some of the organisms that do overpopulate from this can also be disease-causing microorganisms. Phosphates are also found in soaps and detergents, but there are other household products that we use everyday that can be toxic to many animals and humans if they are dumped directly into a water body.

This practice causes a multitude of health and safety concerns for all.  People can unknowingly get deadly diseases or serious infections that could have been avoided in the first place.  Gastrointestinal disorders have been linked to sewage pollution, with viruses implicated as the cause.

 Property of Thomas Ray Wright

The term “human waste” is used in the general to mean several things, such as sewage, sewage sludge, blackwater – in fact anything that may contain some human feces.  In the stricter sense of the term, human waste is in fact human excreta, i.e. urine and feces, with or without water being mixed in.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is a department of the government of Arkansas under the Governor of Arkansas. It is responsible for protecting human health and for safeguarding the natural environment: air, water, and land ecological damage:


Arkansas Department of Environmental QualityIt is not lawful to discharge or dispose of human waste by any means or manner that violates any State or Federal law or regulation.  All sewage must be deposited in sanitary sewers, sewage treatment facilities, septic tank systems or other systems or devices adequate to meet the needs of the people being served. All systems discharging treated sewage shall be maintained at all times by an individual or company trained in the operation and maintenance of that system.

The Department will establish monitoring and reporting requirements for individual sewage treatment systems.  The discharge of either treated or untreated sewage into road ditches or right-of-ways is prohibited.

Connection to a public sewer system is required of all homes and businesses located within 300
feet and having adequate access. Plumbing fixtures must be installed and maintained in
accordance with the Arkansas State Plumbing Code.