St. Martin Residents Want Aging Sewer Lift Station Replaced

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - "Since January, we had sewer back up at least 20 times."

Keith Malagarie has vivid pictures showing the horrible sewage leak at his Cambridge Boulevard home.  The St. Martin man says the waste is simply nasty.

"Every time it rains, forget it, don't take any baths or don't take any showers."

Malagarie believes the problem stems from the lift pumping station on Lancaster Boulevard. He says it's antiquated, and he's called the West Jackson County Utility District dozens of times to repair it.

Sewage complaints are nothing new to Jackson County Supervisor Tommy Brodnax. He says several of his constituents have voiced their anger.

"The electrical, and the pumps, and the piping system probably needs upgrading. While we have good weather we have to get after it and get it done," Brodnax said.

Utility District officials say it will cost about $200,000 to replace the lift station.  While they do admit it is pretty old, they say it won't be a quick fix.

"We purchased Coast Water Works over a year ago, and the majority of their plants and  lift stations are anywhere from 30 to 40-years-old. We have engineers doing analysis and evaluations for a permanent fix," Project Manger Darryl Sidaway said.

Sidaway is asking that customers be patient.

"It never falls on a deaf ear. We address the problems one at a time and we take them all seriously."

Project Manager Darryl Sidaway said engineers should give their evaluations next week. He then expects the utility board to approve the funds to either replace or upgrade the lift station.