Pike supervisors OK sewage lagoon job

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pike County supervisors have approved a $95,800 plan to renovate an industrial park lagoon near Fernwood that is spewing improperly treated waste into the Little Tangipahoa River.

Derrick Tucker of Neel-Schaffer engineering firm of Jackson told the board during a meeting last week that fecal coliform levels in the lagoon are far too high, and could pose risks.

“Its just an indicator of microbes, dangerous microbes called pathogens,” he said. “The lagoon exceeded it big-time.”

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The Metro-Pike Industrial Park lagoon is located just east of the town of Fernwood and discharges waste into the Little Tangipahoa River, which in turn runs through Magnolia and into the Tangipahoa River.

“If you don’t treat it and take it out, that’s when you get too much in the stream,” said Neel-Schaffer’s Keith Lott.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has ordered supervisors to do something about the situation. That’s what prompted the county officials to hire Neel-Schaffer.

The lagoon also contains unacceptable amounts of grease, Tucker said.

He recommended supervisors install a chlorination system, which would kill the fecal coliform microbes. Sulfur dioxide would then neutralize the chlorine, he said.

Tucker also said supervisors should keep a daily log of what goes into the lagoon. Currently supervisors allow three septic-tank pumping companies to empty their trucks there.

“Its obvious there is grease in there and its obvious there is septic-tank waste there,” Lott said.

Neel-Schaffer will draw up plans and specifications by Dec. 1, then get DEQ approval so supervisors can advertise for bids for a chlorination system.