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Mississippi: Stay out of some waters

May 18, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If fishing, swimming or going wading is your thing, don’t do it in the Pearl River or Jackson area waterways.

The state is warning residents to stay away until further notice because of ongoing wastewater overflows from Jackson’s waterwater treatment plants and sewer infrastructure, The Clarion Ledger reported.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality issued the contact advisory Thursday for a section of the Pearl River and several Jackson area waterways. The advisory extends on the Pearl River from Hanging Moss Creek all the way to Swinging Bridge in Byram.

The department also issued advisories for the following Jackson waterways: Hanging Moss Creek, Town Creek, Lynch Creek, Eubanks Creek, Hardy Creek, Trahon Creek and Tilda Slough — the waterway located along the south side of Pascagoula Street and east of Jefferson Street, which flows through an underground culvert and emerges at Interstate 55 near the Pearl Street exit. The slough drains north under High Street where it is pumped to the Pearl River

MDEQ recommends that people avoid water contact activities in the affected waterways and avoid eating fish or anything else taken from these waters until further notice.

The advisory follows the release of the city’s most recent quarterly report to the Environmental Protection Agency. The reports are required under the terms of the federal consent decree placed on the city in 2012.

The report, which spans from January to March, revealed the following:

— Sixty-one outflows of wastewater were recorded.

— 23.25 million gallons (8.706447 liters) of raw sewage was released from the city’s West Bank Interceptor plant in a three-month period.

— A total of 281,245 gallons (1064628 liters) of raw sewage was released into tributaries of the Pearl River.

The overflows continued even after it was revealed earlier this year that the city’s main treatment plant, the Savanna Wastewater Treatment Plant, released nearly 3 billion gallons (1.135624 liters) of minimally treated sewage into the Pearl River over a six-month period last year.

MDEQ said its staff will continue to collect water samples and monitor the water quality in the area.

The advisory will be revised as needed, the department said.

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Information from: The Clarion Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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