Work underway to eliminate downtown Hattiesburg odor

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree announced the city is addressing the lagoon and wastewater system Monday.

Residents have been complaining about an odor that has consumed much of east Hattiesburg for years.

"We have been in discussions about this for some time and we are very excited that it is just around the corner and it is beginning to take place now," Councilman Kim Bradley said. "I think it's very important for the future of the city."

City Engineer Bert Kuyrkendall said the city has been working on the aeration project at the lagoon since November 2010 and it is scheduled to be completed by the end of October.

He said the dredging of the south lagoon will begin later in the fall.

Kuyrkendall said while work is going on at the lagoon the odor will continue to be around but it will not cause any health issues to the community.

"I don't want people to be concerned about any kind of health issues," said Kuyrkendall. "We have run environmental test on the sludge itself. It is heavy in organics which means it is a lot of food for the bugs down there and gas is product when the bugs eat the food. It is not harmful it is just a nuisance."

City officials said the rest of the projects identified in the first phase will cost around $10 million. That money will be raised by selling water and sewer revenue bonds.

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