Utility Authority moving forward with utility line relocation

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Preparations are underway by the Pearl River County Utility Authority and the city of Picayune to relocate utilities in anticipation of the widening of Highway 11.

During Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting of the Utility Authority, the Board was advised that bids would be available for review on June 5. Executive Director Ray Scott said the Utility Authority and Picayune City Council have entered into an agreement to have both the sewer and water lines moved at the same time by the same contractor. Picayune’s water lines are owned and maintained by the city, while the sewer system is owned and maintained by the Utility Authority. Previous discussions about moving the lines determined moving both lines at the same time would save money and time.

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Scott said the Mississippi Department of Transportation has indicated to the Utility Authority that the lines need to be moved by the end of the year because the current plan is to move forward with the widening of Highway 11.

Previous coverage states that MDOT intends to widen the highway from the intersection of Lakeshore Drive to the intersection of Cayten Street. The widening project is slated to begin in the summer of 2019.

In other matters, the Board was updated about required repairs to an aging lagoon at the Poplarville wastewater treatment facility. Scott said the repairs have been complete, but the cost put the agency over budget. The repairs were required because engineering staff found evidence of decay in the levy around the lagoon.

Work is underway to repair sewer issues in the Westchester Subdivision. Scott said the Board was advised that there is a conflict with a gravity main and force main.

The initial plan to move the force main was determined to lead to problems in providing service to a total of 1,200 customers, prompting the shift to move the gravity main, which would affect six customers.

Temporary measures will be put in place so service is not interrupted while repairs to the sewer system in that subdivision take place.

The Board also heard about issues with a belt press installation at the Poplarville wastewater treatment facility.

Scott said the equipment is used in the wastewater treatment process to remove solids and prepare them for disposal elsewhere.

Since the Poplarville facility is so small it doesn’t have one. However, the Utility Authority recently purchased a used belt press from Diamondhead, and is working out issues to install it at the Poplarville facility.