Officials at the "Gulf of Mexico Program" at Stennis Space Center released the results of a five month study Tuesday that could change the way wastewater is collected and discharged in Hancock County.
Hancock County, like most coast counties, battle the problem of high levels of bacteria entering the waterways. You can't tell by looking at it but the waters in and around the Bay of St. Louis are ranked by the DEQ as some of the most polluted water ways in the State. Officials say the problem stems from inadequate or failing sewer systems in low lying areas.
Deputy Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program, Bryon Griffith, says consequently the water quality problems in this County stems from bacteria associated, not exclusively, but in large part to those problems. Griffith and his team studied ways of correcting the problem for nearly five months. What they recommended is consolidating all of the treatment facilities in the county into one.
" Tying them all into one is a substantial savings for this county." said Griffith. County and city leaders like Mayor Tommy Longo of Waveland are encouraged.
"As the population grows as industry grows if we go through with the total plan that won't have an effect on our environment as far as wastewater into our Bays Rivers and streams," said Longo.
The total plan also calls for stopping the practice of discharging treated wastewater into permitted Bayous. Instead the treated wastewater would be used for timber management and agricultural purposes.
Board of Supervisors President Rocky Pullman also likes the plan." That is a very good system is what the future holds for Hancock County it will help us clean our water ways up it will make areas where people want to fish and swim in our water ways and stuff make it a lot safer for them we're very supportive of this. We're going to be looking for federal money to help implement this plan in the very near future."