GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The City of Gulfport and the Mississippi Department of Health are telling homeowners they have to hook up to city sewer lines or face serious consequences.
Gulfport's Public Works Department sent out stern letters to 179 residents who have not connected to the city's sewer system.
"It's not only a city ordinance, it's public health law," said Dr. Bob Travnicek with the Health Department.
Gulfport installed sewer lines in the Biloxi River Estates, John Ross Road and Fritz Creek areas north of the interstate. People living those areas have relied on septic tanks for years.
Residents are now being told that they have 60 days to make arrangements to hook up to the city sewer system, or the state will crack down.
"We're talking about fines, even possible jail time," Travnicek said.
Gulfport installed the sewer lines last year and residents were required to connect within 60 days. Many did not. In December 2008, the city council voted to extend the deadline. Now Gulfport and state officials are giving residents 60 days to comply.