Jackson sewage issues pose reason for concern

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be it smoke or some other unpleasant smell, no one wants to be down wind of an offending odor.

     For south Mississippi residents along the Pearl River, including our friends in Monticello and Lawrence County, down stream from the capital city is proving to be an equally troublesome place to be.

     Excessive rain runoff and some Ross Barnett Reservoir management issues have been sources of erosion-related concerns for lower Pearl River residents from time to time.

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     Now, a report in a recent edition of the Clarion-Ledger shows that untreated sewage from Jackson has been flowing into the river for the last few years. That comes as a result of failing infrastructure that has been neglected for years.

     The newspaper estimated the amount of sewage getting into the river or tributaries since 2009 would be “enough to fill 4,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools or four NFL stadiums.” That’s a lot of crud.

     The sewage issues have landed Jackson on the Environmental Protection Agency radar, the newspaper said. City leaders are expected to soon sign a consent decree to commit to hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs.

     Any time untreated sewage is allowed into a public waterway is past time for action.

     Considering the time period and the huge volume of water the Pearl River carries, the sewage amount may not be that great in the grand flow of things.

     However, treatment rules are in place for a reason and need to be followed. Also, the thought of raw sewage floating by is not one that Pearl River users should have to consider.

     Down stream or not, it’s reason for concern.