Aldermen approve emergency work on lift station
By John Howell Sr.
City officials will meet with representatives of Crown Cork and Seal Company to determine the source of a corrosive agent flowing into the municipal sewer system that destroyed parts of a sewer lift station.
Discussion of the problem arose during the Tuesday, Dec. 3, meeting of the mayor and aldermen where aldermen voted unanimously to approve a $32,000 emergency purchase to replace components of the lift station that serves the W. M. Harmon Industrial Park.
Sewer and Water Department superintendent Mike Ross said that corrosive discharges had destroyed concrete holding pump mounts and other parts of the lift station, forcing him to replace a rail system, discharge piping, valves --”that had been destroyed by some kind of chemical,” an invoice from vendor C and C Pump Service of Sardis stated.
“They’re putting something in there that doesn’t need to be in there,” Ross said.
Mayor Jerry Autrey said that he had called an environmentalist for Crown Cork and Seal who told him he would work with the city to eliminate the problem.
Wastewater Treatment Plant superintendent David Karr said that his facility receives problem discharges from a source yet to be determined that upset the pH balance required for the city’s aerobic sewage treatment process.
“When we get dumped on, it’s usually third shift on a Sunday,” Karr said.
The meeting came almost a year after a Dec. 5, 2012 heavy oil discharge from Crown into the sewer system triggered a massive cleanup. Treatment plant workers at the time detected the discharge in time to divert it into lagoons, preventing its introduction into the Little Tallahatchie River.
Hazardous materials recovery crews brought heavy equipment to the lagoon to remove the toxic discharge, damaging the roadways atop the lagoon levees. City officials negotiated for months afterward to recover the cost of repairs at the treatment plant.
Aldermen also heard requests for two other emergency purchases: a wood and limb chipper for the street department and a new server for the police department.
Street department workers pick up limbs placed at curbside at residential property and use the chipper to grind them.
The city’s current chipper failed and was still inoperable after a $1,400 repair, street department superintendent Teddy Austin told the mayor and aldermen.
A motor overhaul costing $8,000 to $10,000 is needed to make it operable, he said.
The cost of a new chipper would be $45,240, less $6,700 for the trade-in of the old machine.
“I’d just as soon get at least two quotes on it,” Alderman Teddy Morrow said.
Austin said the he would obtain the quotes for the elected officials.
“We got it last week by hand,” Austin said about curbside limb collection; “we just had to put everybody out there, with the backhoe.”
Police Chief Tony Jones told the mayor and aldermen that BPD administrative assistant Barbara Lambert had been able to restart the department’s server after two crashes, but, “We’ve got to replace it.”
“If it goes down, basically, we’d have to start all over,” Jones added.
Data are stored on a hard drive for backup, Lambert said, responding to a question from Alderman Eddie Nabors.
Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the BPD request to purchase server and software totaling $13,545.