Condos Could Overload Hancock County Treatment Facilities

While the number of proposed condo developments in Hancock County continues to grow, so do concerns regarding whether county facilities can actually handle the extra work.

Right now there are 15 condo developments proposed for the county's newly created commercial resort district.

County leaders say the sewer treatment plant, now operating near capacity, could have trouble handling waste from as many as 5,000 new units.

"Whether it be the development of a subdivision or the development of a condominium, there always has to be a concern for sewer capacity," Hancock County Building official Mickey Lagasse said.

Most of the sewage in Hancock County is treated at the Southern Regional Wastewater treatment plant in Waveland.

The plant can treat 4.9 million gallons of sewage a day. Right now it treats about 3.4 million gallons. Officials say adding 5,000 new units to the system would overload it in no time.

"The Waveland region plant could not handle that additional capacity," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said.

Longo serves as a Southern Regional board member. He and others say they won't be able to figure out a solution until they find out exactly how much waste will need to be treated.

"As soon as we get some information, then we can make our plans to see if added capacity is needed, what we need to do from this end," plant administrator Sheryl Colson said.

"We're planning to meet with them in the next few weeks and they're in the process now of doing a study. We'll learn more after they give us their study."

Local leaders say the developers will have to pay the additional cost for the increased sewerage treatment.

"That would not be passed on to the local taxpayers," Longo said.

Southern Regional officials say planned satellite treatment plants in the Pearlington and Kiln communities will take some of the treatment load off of the main facility in Waveland.

And as we've reported before, all the proposed condo projects in Hancock County could be stalled pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by a concerned citizen's group. That group is challenging the county's authority to create a commercial resort district in the first place.

by Al Showers