What a mess
May 2, 2004
Residents in the immediate area have the best view and smell of the odoriferous raw sewage that periodically erupts from Meridian's lift station on Cotton Gin Road. This is the station that links Naval Air Station Meridian to the city's waste control system.
But last Tuesday it was waste out of control, again, as a power outage caused raw sewage to flood out of the station and into the ditch on Cotton Gin Road, running toward nearby homes and Topton Air Park.
Reportedly, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Health were notified of the spillage. The city was also notified and crews were dispatched to help clean up the mess.
Residents say this isn't the first time raw sewage has polluted the area since the lift station went into service last fall. While the stench that twisted nostrils soon after the lift station went on line is better now, they say, it still smells bad at times. And, they remain concerned about the public health and safety implications of raw sewage running into their neighborhood.
The basic problem seems to be there is no backup source of power that could keep the wastewater flowing properly through the system. When the sole power source goes out, so does raw sewage.
What a mess.
It seems to us that citizens have a right to expect the city of Meridian to safely and efficiently handle fundamental things, such as the transport of sewage to proper treatment facilities. But, as we've seen in the case of neglected roads and a long-delayed repaving program, the current city administration doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry to provide citizens with improved basic services.
Be that as it may, city engineers need to jump on the problems at the lift station on Cotton Gin Road immediately. They need to decide quickly if a secondary source of power, say, a generator, would keep the station operating when primary power is down, or whether the lift station should be moved to another location.
Area residents say they are sick of the mess and we can't see how anybody could argue with that.