Groundworx sewer saga continues in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The sewage odor that has been dubbed "the Hattiesburg Smell" by area residents described the stench that seeps its way into the airways of city homes every day.

Under a new city-approved contract, that smell could be fixed sometime soon.

A public hearing hosted by the DEQ on Tuesday is part of the permit process to grant a company called Groundworx permission to use a land application process to treat the Hub City waste water.

A few weeks ago, the Hattiesburg City Council approved a contract with Groundworx, but some residents aren't happy with the decision.

"I don't live in the city, and I'm being taxed for this," said Joe Moia

"The Mississippi DEQ could be placing the citizens of Hattiesburg at risk for unwarranted exposure to environmental hazards," said another citizen.

Others think the plan might be the best way to go.

"This is a good project, it needs to be done right, but it doesn't need to be shot at constantly," said John Green. "It needs to be positively shot forward."

Following years of planning and discussion to fix the sewer system, city council members approved a 4-1 contract with Groundworx on January 9th.

Two weeks later, Mayor Johnny DuPree changed his mind.

Under Groundworx, sewer rates would increase from $11.03 to $27.58.

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