JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A more than four decade old problem with the water supply running through Colonial Estates in Jackson County could soon be coming to an end. Last year, an anticipated grant was supposed to go toward fixing the water and sewer woes, but that plan fell through. Jackson County officials have now revised their plan.
Colonial Estates residents have had to deal with water and sewer headaches for years with little to no relief.
"I want a new well, new pipes, new everything so we can feel comfortable, if a storm comes, it is taken care of and we don't have to worry about those things," Homeowner's Association Treasurer Lana Hawkins said.
The neighbors here said the water well system they use is more than 45 years old.
"We have been dealing with busted pipes, people not paying their water bill. The state has been on about condition of the well and what we need to do to get it up-to-date," Homeowner's Association President Jerry Tapp said.
"This is an old neighborhood with all septic tanks and a low lying area. As you can see, much of the wooded area and most of the septic tanks are failing, which is causing problems to the water system," said Jackson County Supervisor John McKay.
McKay says getting relief to the area has been a challenge.
"Unfortunately, these people are caught in a no man's land," said McKay. "Right across Riley Road is the City of Ocean Springs, and the city will not service these people, because they are in the county. Jackson County Utility Authority is too far away, and they can't service these people."
There was also grant funding issues in the past, but McKay says the county and Ocean Springs have agreed on a new plan to tackle the water woes first.
"The city has agreed to tap into their line. We are going to run a four inch line down Trotter Road here from the six inch line the city has, and then we tie into the well system back here and let their distribution system be as it is. Originally, when we are applying for the $2 million grant, it was to run all new lines, but of course, that grant fell through because we were not able to come up with enough match," said McKay.
McKay said the project is a temporary fix and will cost between $65,000 and $70,000.
"This is the most economical way we can get these people sure, good, clean water and reliable water supply. They can do away with the well and DEQ will no longer be pressuring them," explained McKay.
McKay said the next focus will be acquiring enough money to improve the sewer in the area.
"We are hoping that whenever the BP restore money, which is about $3 million that we requested through BP environmental, that hopefully that comes through in the future," said McKay.
These residents said they're pleased to hear some progress is being made, and they just pray it continues.