By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Pearl River County’s Utility Authority is working on a number of water and waste water projects to improve the infrastructure for those services.
Many of the projects are taking place in or near the municipalities of Picayune and Poplarville.
“We are working on a variety of projects throughout the county and continuing to improve the systems,” Executive Director Jeff McClain said.
One of the projects the Utility Authority is working on, the Hide-A-Way Lake waste water project, is nearing completion. Currently, all of the 875 residential homes in the gated community that applied for the program have had grinder pumps installed at their homes.
A second phase of the project added the option to have the septic tank at the home decommissioned, which means it would be filled in. McClain said about 250 homes applied for that additional service, and there are about 70 to 80 septic tanks left to decommission.
Other new projects are expected to start soon, or have already begun. Some of that work will include the rehabilitation of water lines and sewer lift stations, in addition to extending those lines to areas previously not served by community water and sewer.
In the Hillsdale area, 3,500 feet of water mains will be added to provide the ability to add more homes to that service, McClain said.
Sewer lift stations in the two municipalities are also planned. McClain said in Poplarville two such stations will be rehabilitated with new pumps and electronic controls.
In the Picayune area, water lines will be installed in the Big Springs area off of Liberty Road, adding about seven or eight new customers who requested the service, McClain said.
In the city limits of Picayune, three pump stations will be modernized by installing additional pumps, including one on South Haugh Avenue, one near Heritage Oaks and a third near the Farm Bureau office on U.S. Highway 11, said Utility Authority Engineer Vernon Moore.
Additional sewage customers also will be added by extending lines down Mississippi Highway 43 North to Liberty Road, picking up the commercial corridor at that intersection and adding the capability of connecting residential homes down Liberty Road to Gibson’s Trailer Park, Moore said. That work is expected to begin in early February.
Sewer lines in Picayune are in need of work, and McClain said the board intends to do that work by the summer of this year. That work would entail relining the existing waste water lines.
Using funds from a $700,000 loan, the board intends to rehabilitate several major sewer lift stations in Picayune, including lift stations on East Canal, Sixth Avenue, Third Avenue, Circle Drive and Beech Street near Palestine Road. That work is expected to begin by the summer as well.
Waste water collection and rerouting along Highland Commons Parkway is getting its final touches. Moore said when that lift station comes online it will take a load off of the lift station on Read Road. In addition, all of the pending development along the new major road will be served by that lift station.
In parts of the former Dixie Utilities area, new water lines and fire hydrants are being installed along Otis Stewart Road, Huntington, Antoinette and Timberlane. In the Eagle Heights subdivision new water lines also are being installed, McClain said.