More water and sewer problems in Picayune

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, October 2, 2008

The development of a sink hole on Country Club Drive has the Pearl River County Utility Authority considering what to do.

Homeowner Jack Young brought a complaint about the road collapsing in front of his house before the board at Wednesday’s meeting in Picayune. Investigation into the matter found the sink hole took a water line with it, breaking the line. The City of Picayune has since repaired the water line so he could have water service, but repairs are still slated for a faulty sewer tap and for his yard.

Young asked if the broken street will be fixed by the Utility Authority or if the city would take that responsibility.

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“I’m going to play the politician role — I’m not going to answer your question,” board president Steve Lawler said with a smile on his face.

Lawler then said that while he could not promise Young that the Utility Authority would be the one to repair the road, the board would do everything it could to make sure that the street was repaired.

Utility Authority Engineer Brooks Wallace said he will be in contact with Picayune’s Public Works Director Chad Frierson and Interim City Manager Harvey Miller concerning the matter.

Too much water flow and too much fluoride in the water has been a problem with the new well and water storage tank in the Poplarville area. Board member Tommy Breland said discussions with Poplarville Mayor Billy Speirs, have indicated that the city plans to cut off the connection between the city and the new well’s water supply until the problem has been resolved.

Wallace said the problem should be sorted out soon and that water will be sold as of Wednesday, if the city needs it. Water sent to Poplarville before Wednesday was not billed to the city, Wallace said. As for the fluoride problem, that should be sorted out as the service continues.

Southwest Water Company employee Mike Switzer said the fluoride levels were high, but not substantially so. They are working to get the levels down to the recommended level. Currently the levels were spiking a little higher than what is recommended. Lawler asked if too much fluoride could be dangerous, to which Wallace said too much of anything could be harmful but the fluoride levels in the water were not lethal.

“Water will kill you if you drink too much of it,” Wallace said.

The new water well and tank for the Picayune area is almost ready to put out for bids. Wallace suggested making an amendment to the plans by adding a 16-inch main line instead of a 12-inch line. The extra four inches would be like running two 12-inch lines next to each when water flow is taken into consideration. There would be an increase in cost for the larger lines however, about $8 to $10 more per foot. With the total price tag for the new water system reaching $12 million, the estimated $150,000 increase in price for the larger lines would be worth the extra water flow, Lawler said.

The Utility Authority board meets the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., alternatingbetween Picayune’s and Poplarville’s city halls.