UA extends HAWL grinder pumps program

Published 12:52 am Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Pearl River County Utility Authority will extend its deadline for applying for financial help to install grinder pumps for Hide-A-Way Lake residents.

Details of the project were announced during Thursday’s meeting. Executive Director Cliff Diamond said the new deadline is Oct. 31, and the additional grinder pumps are funded by a second grant.

HAWL residents will need to pay $450 each as a matching amount, but the total cost to do the work is $4,250 for each pump, said Utility Authority Engineer Brooks Wallace. In order for a home in HAWL to connect to sewer system lines being installed in the gated community, a grinder pump is required. The program being extended with the new grant is offering the installation of those pumps at a reduced rate, Wallace said.

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“They’re getting it for 90 percent off,” Wallace said.

Application forms can be found at the lodge in the subdivision, Diamond said. Wallace said this project will include installation of the grinder pump, filling in and abandonment of the septic tank and the electrical hook up for the grinder pump. Connecting to the sewer system is still voluntary, Diamond said. Once the system is established and functional, administrators of the subdivision will collect sewage bills for the Utility Authority, and will charge HAWL residents a surcharge to do so.

Updates on the progress of sewer systems for Picayune and Poplarville were presented to the Utility Authority’s board. Wallace said the Picayune plant is fully functional, but there are some punch list items to finalize. The Poplarville plant also is operational, but is still going through a testing phase. Wallace said the testing phase has found some issues with controls at the plant, but none are major.

Another $1 million has been awarded to the Pearl River County Utility Authority from the Department of Environmental Quality. That money will be used to make water line improvements in the former Dixie Utilities area, including Westchester, Virginia Manor and Eagle Heights, Diamond said. Currently, water lines in those areas are being held together by a number of patches.

Work in the Highland Commons area is being primed to move forward. Wallace said a new pump station will be installed along the new boulevard in the area, and once it is operational, it will reduce the load of the only other pump station on that side of town, which is located off of Read Road.

Heavy rain puts a strain on that pump station. The Highland Commons pump will be located near the new hospital now under construction.

The board also approved lowering the rate for providing water to Poplarville. The Utility Authority will charge the city 65 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, a 50 percent reduction from the previous rate, Utility Authority attorney Jeff Holliman said.

The next meeting of the Utility Authority board is at 2 p.m. Oct. 20, at Picayune City Hall.