Major Water & Sewer Project Underway In Waveland

It's a major step in Waveland's post-Katrina recovery. Katrina badly battered the city's water and sewer system, but work is now underway to completely replace the system south of the railroad tracks.

"The sewage system and the water system is like swiss cheese. The water breaks, they were doing as many as 25, 30 water repairs a day in order to keep the water pressure up. We lost one of our wells in our storage tanks. The sewer system is the same way," said Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo.

A turn of the dirt marked the beginning of a new water and sewage system south of the tracks in Waveland. Mayor Longo says the project will solve current headaches and pave the way for the city's future.

"Hemphill Construction is doing the overall project, and in order for people to come back and to build, we have to have our infrastructure in place, so this is a big deal, and it's a big step in the recovery since Katrina," Mayor Longo said.

"We're going to be installing sewer lines along the roadways, and water lines along the shoulders of the roads. So folks down here, especially south of the tracks, they'll be putting up with a little mess for a little while. Hopefully, they'll be patient," said Bruce Newton of Digital Engineering & Imaging Inc.

The cost of the entire project comes to $48.5 million, and it's slated to be completed within 18 months to two years.

"As soon as we complete the water and sewer projects, which is major, major utilities replacements, we have paving which comes right behind it, we have ditch re-shaping, and drainage, so this is the beginning of almost totally redoing this side of town," Mayor Longo said.

FEMA is providing 90 percent of the money for the project.