By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A sewage lagoon blamed for casting its foul odor over Deer Park will meet its end as Tupelo upgrades the subdivision to the city wastewater treatment system.
City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved a $673,430 contract with Poplar Bluff, Mo.-based Kajacs Contractors to close the lagoon and install a central pumping station instead.
Work on the project could start this month and is scheduled for completion in April.
Currently, subdivision residents have septic tanks that empty liquids into the lagoon. Under the new system, the tanks will tie into the city pump, which will carry sewage to the wastewater treatment facility in south Tupelo.
Residents should not notice any interruption or changes in service during or after the work, said Tupelo Water & Light Manager Johnny Timmons.
“The only thing they should notice is that the smell will be better,” Timmons said.
Tupelo had purchased the Deer Park sewer system several years ago but has since struggled to keep it in compliance with Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality guidelines.
“We had put in a chlorination system and had monitored chlorine levels daily, but they were either not enough or too much,” Timmons said. “We could never get it to meet DEQ specs.”
The city already had planned to switch the subdivision to its sewage system when, in September, its long-anticipated annexation of Deer Park and other previously unincorporated areas became official.
Now, in addition to the central pumping station, the city also will install a sewage main under the subdivision, allowing houses to directly connect to the system.
That plan isn’t part of the current contract but will come later, Timmons said. Under the current contract, homeowners will keep their septic tanks and those tanks will tie into the city sewage system.
Deer Park is located in west Tupelo just north of U.S. 78 near the Wingate by Wyndham hotel.