West Biloxi to see water, sewer improvements over next few years
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - As the massive FEMA-funded infrastructure overhaul in East Biloxi nears completion, the city is now shifting its focus to West Biloxi.
The city is now working to finalize plans for infrastructure improvements for the water and sewer lines, some of which are 70 years old and the city’s most outdated lines.
“We’re experiencing waterline breaks with more frequency, and we have some drainage issues,” said Ward 5 Councilman Paul Tisdale. “We have some sewer lines that, at times, collapse, just because it’s old pipe.”
Roads in West Biloxi are another issue. A major sinkhole on Pass Road is just one of several infrastructure failures that have prompted the West Biloxi Master Plan, said Tisdale.
“Just look at all the patches in the road accumulated over the past 20 or 25 years. There is some serious work ahead,” he said.
The water tank on that side of the city hasn’t been used in about a decade so part of the plan will be to revamp it with a new tank. It’s a much-needed water source that will help the lines and provide a much-needed resource for emergency officials.
“The tanks, you know, provide us with adequate water pressure when we go to fight fire,” said Biloxi Fire Chief Nick Geiser.
Geiser said the upgrades will make their fire-fighting more efficient.
“We’re able to put more water on a fire and we’re able to put the fire out quicker, but you can’t do that if the tank isn’t working and the infrastructure under the ground isn’t properly sized,” he said.
Residents in the area will reap the benefits, as well. like Vanessa Dowdell lives in Bay Vista and has been battling a bug problem she says that started with a sewer line issue.
“It requires you to utilize a lot of water and that water has to be dispensed and gotten rid of by some type of method, which is down the drain,” she explained. “And here we go, catch 22.”
Tisdale says the master plan will include a series of $1-2 million projects that are budgeted to take place over the next few years.
The city is still in the beginning stages of its West Biloxi Master Plan. They have hired local engineering firm Neel-Schaffer to conduct studies on the water, sewage and drainage south of Biloxi Bay and west of the White House Hotel on Highway 90.
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