Residential clean up ongoing

Published 8:02 pm Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clean up of the residential area surrounding the Picayune Wood Treatment Superfund site should provide residents with safer surroundings, a more efficient drainage ditch and larger culverts.

United States Environmental Protection Agency On-Site Coordinator Karen Buerki said the action being conducted on Weems Street consists of removing the top layer of dirt in yards and along Mill Creek.

Sediment has been dredged from the creek and surrounding drainage areas. In the surrounding drainage areas of Mill Creek corrugated pipe has been laid and will be covered with soil.

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Soil is being excavated a foot down and fill dirt will return the area to it’s previous state. Then a layer of top soil will be added before the sod, Buerki said.

Samples of the dirt were collected before the work began and samples will be taken again after the work is complete to ensure the results meet EPA’s goal. Results on those tests are currently coming in and look good so far, she said.

The clean up work will continue down Mill Creek to South Beech Street.

A culvert was also replaced under Davis Street during the work. Council member Leavern Guy said that a new culvert more than doubles the size of the old one. The new culvert is expected to help move water from the area more efficiently during heavy rains, Guy said.

“I really was skeptical about the work they were going to be doing here, but watching the progress that’s being made it’s really starting to change my view of (EPA’s) intent,” Guy said.

The residential clean up began in early August 2007 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, barring any long periods of severe weather, Buerki said.