H'burg officials to hold open meeting on how to fix the stench - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Hub CIty officials to hold open meeting on how to fix the stench

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City officials will hold an open informational meeting on the new sewage treatment options for the Hub City. Hattiesburg's sewage lagoon system was built in 1965, and must be updated to meet Department of Environmental Quality specifications.

Two solutions on the table will be the topic for a public meeting Thursday evening. City Engineer Bert Kuyrkendall says, "The two treatment methodologies we're looking at are land application and a mechanical treatment plant."

The land application process involves primary treatment of sewage, then pumping waste via pipeline to a land application site for irrigation and fertilization.

Kuyrkendall says "The sites we've seen have either been grasslands, some sites have grown hay, most of the ones we've looked at have grown trees."

The positive things about land application include a smaller impact to water and sewage bills, reduction of odors, and treated waste would not be released into the Leaf River. However, land application requires large amounts of land, it is not easily adapted to future EPA regulations, and less flexibility for future expansion.

Kuyrkendall says "Most towns in Mississippi our size have a mechanical treatment plant, and essentially it's the same treatment that happens in a lagoon, but its within a walled structure."

The pros for a mechanical treatment facility include the ease of meeting current and future EPA requirements, reduced sewage odor, plus it would provide a more complete treatment to waste.

However, building the new facility would raise sewage rates the dramatically and require higher maintenance and operating costs. Plus, treated waste will continue to be discharged into the Leaf River, says Kuyrkendall. "I don't want to give numbers right now because they're based on previous numbers. I'd rather the public come and see Thursday what kind of numbers we're looking at."

Thursday's meeting is at 6pm inside the Hattiesburg Intermodal Facility at 308 Newman Street.

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