- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority board is putting $1.16 million from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers toward two wastewater projects.

The Commercial Appeal reports (https://bit.ly/Qt3FFW ) the projects include an effluent pipeline tying the Short Fork plant and the Coldwater River, and the closeout of three offline western facilities.

The authority is closing the old Walls, Twin Lakes and Lake Forest plants whose functions have been absorbed by the $13.8 million Johnson Creek treatment facility that began taking flow in 2013.

The closeouts, including all sludge removal and dirt replacement, have to be completed by the end of 2015, said authority board President B.J. Page. Work is expected to start this summer.

When the authority began operating a decade ago, “the Corps would let us bank money until we had enough to do a project,” said Page. “But now, whatever we get, we have to obligate by the end of the fiscal year.”

“I think it’s a good move that matches funds available,” consulting engineer Tracy Huffman of the Waggoner firm said of the selected scenario. “It’s not all that we wanted, but we can move forward.”

The outflow line to the Coldwater River is a priority to address new rules that will be in effect in 2016.

The Coldwater River project, a prelude to Short Fork plant expansion, would end flow to Short Fork Creek. The project is favored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

Huffman said the authority “could continue to discharge into the creek, but it would be more costly due to new filters and other requirements.”

The projected cost for the projects is $5.4 million with the county portion at $4.2 million.

The authority expects to increase by 13 cents to $3.19 per 1,000 gallons the fee for treated wastewater charged to the authority’s five municipal customers: Olive Branch, Southaven, Horn Lake, Hernando and Walls.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com


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