Treatment Plant again named state’s ‘most outstanding’

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 24, 2016

Treatment Plant again named state’s ‘most outstanding’

By Rupert Howell
The City of Batesville’s Wastewater Treatment Facility employees have been awarded, “Most Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Facility in Mississippi,” during a presentation at last week’s meeting of the Mississippi Municipal Association.

But, it’s not the first time according to Department Director David Karr who proudly explained the Batesville facility is the only one in the state to receive the award three times.

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Mayor Jerry Autrey along with Karr, Gary Patterson and Mark Ivy accepted the award.
The treatment facility is located on Panola Avenue where it intersects with MLK and Bright Streets in the heart of what once was the town of Panola at the Tallahatchie River. Six employees including Karr operate the facility.

For years Batesville’s wastewater fed through lines that gravitated toward that river, dumping raw sewage from a pipe just west of the Panola Bridge. It wasn’t unusual to see people fishing at the site where catfish and other scavenger fish fed regularly.

That wastewater is now regulated and goes through a series of processes that filters and treats sewage until a point it can be reintroduced to nature—bad for the hungry fish but good for the water.

Operators of the early sewage facilities only needed to understand gravity. Now operators must be certified and attend continuing education classes on a regular basis, not only to operate the facilities but to keep abreast of changing laws decreed by agencies of federal or state governments.

Karr said although the current facility has had upgrades and add-ons, the newest part is 25-years-old. The Department head said he has been trying to prepare city officials for a while for pending regulations concerning extracting nitrogen and phosphorus from the wastewater so that it doesn’t add to the “dead zone,” in the Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi River enters.
But to be successful with that endeavor, Karr suggests the government must also control the runoff water of farmland along the MIssissippi River and its tributaries.