By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Two of the three water systems constructed and managed by the Pearl River County Utility Authority have received perfect ratings by the Mississippi Department of Health.
The third received a high rating. Utility Authority Executive Director Jeff McClain said the Poplarville and Picayune water systems both received a rating of 5, which is the highest rating a water system can receive. The Hillsdale water system received a rating of 4.7, losing points because there is not a back up water system nearby, McClain said.
“In talking with the inspector, fives are not common, so we’re very excited to get that rating,” McClain said.
Each water system is rated on three categories, the technical side of the well and water delivery system, the financial side and the managerial side, McClain said.
In other Utility Authority business the board is in discussions with a business called Liquid Environmental Solutions, which is looking for a place to set up shop in South Mississippi. McClain said the business deals with processing used cooking oil, and with waste trap collection and treatment.
McClain said the company is considering several locations, but two of those could be in the Picayune waste water treatment plant, or within the Picayune Industrial Park. However, the company and the Utility Authority board are still in discussions about the move. McClain said additional information will be available when a decision is reached.
McClain said about $500,000 worth of capital project work has been completed in the former Dixie Utilities area and Hillsdale area, which included water line extensions in Hillsdale, and sewer force mains in the area of Mississippi Highway 43 North and Beech Street.
All work to install grinder pumps and sewer service in Hide-A-Way Lake has been completed. Also complete is the work to install a lift station along Highland Commons Parkway. The lift station will take a lot of pressure off of the Read Road lift station and lift station next to Pizza Hut, McClain said.
Work is continuing on Circle Drive to find and repair leaks in the sewer lines. McClain said one leak was found after a resident reported a sink hole in the road, and while that leak has been repaired, McClain said work crews noticed another area where a sink hole appears to have formed. Crews are investigating the area to find any other potential leaks and repair them.
The board approved a motion at its last meeting to seek out bids for a $700,000 project that will rehabilitate five lift stations in the cities of Picayune and Poplarville. McClain said he expects the board to open bids at its next meeting, set for May 16, at 2 p.m. in the Poplarville city hall. Work for that project is estimated to begin in June.
The board also approved a motion to apply for a $6 million loan that will be used to rehabilitate the sewer lines in Picayune. McClain said the loan will be paid back using the current rate structure. If the loan is approved, that work is expected to begin after the middle of the year.