Council Agrees On New Wastewater System; 4 To 1 Vote - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Council Agrees On New Wastewater System; 4 To 1 Vote

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City Council Approves On Wastewater System City Council Approves On Wastewater System

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - It's official, the City of Hattiesburg and Groundworx will work together on a land-based treatment facility for the city's waste.

That means the "stench" from the city's current lagoon system may go away soon.

"Our agreement with Groundworx will be over 30 years," said City Council President Kim Bradley.

He said it will cost a about $142 million to build the new land-based application The waste will be treated through a natural filtration and used for the environment on fields.

"We are going to grow trees and grass and do the green thing," Bradley said.

The land-based application will plotted on  about 10,000 acres split between Forrest and Lamar counties.

"The area in Forrest County is close to 7,000 acres and then there's another 3, 400 in Lamar County," said Ronnie Blackwell of Clearpoint Consulting Engineering.

The City Council approved this measure by a 4 to 1 vote. Councilwoman Deborah Delgado of Ward 2 opposes the contract.

"You have to look at what most cities around the nation are doing and they are not doing land application," she said.

The city's current lagoon system will still be used with the new one.

"It just doesn't seem like a stretch to me that we would go to that tremendous costs and still maintain that lagoon," she said.

Delgado also said it will cost about $30 million to do maintenance on the old system

"We're talking about repairing that lagoon and getting it up to the optimum functioning capacity," she said.

The engineers and the council are certain the smell that hangs in the air from the current lagoons will disappear once the treatment process begins. Construction should start in the next 6 to 8 months, according to Blackwell.

The new system is suppose to treat about 12 million gallons of waste daily and it will cost about $17.5 million  yearly to operate it.

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