JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality issued a water quality advisory on Tuesday, May 25 for areas of the Pearl River near the Savanna Wastewater Treatment Plant and for 11 creeks in Jackson.
“It’s definitely an ongoing issue, there’s a lot of history,” said Andrew Whitehurst, Water Program Director at HealthyGulf and board member for Pearl Riverkeepers.
Neighbors are being advised not to participate in any recreational activities. The advisory comes after an evaluation from the state agency found that the city’s sewage system overflowed, dumping minimally treated wastewater into the river.
“All the streams and rivers have some pollution problems rather it’s run-off or plants that don’t work quite right. But this is on a large scale,” said Whitehurst.
Overflows can be caused by collapsed pipes, excessive rainfall and by people dumping oils and greases into the system.
Officials also say that many of the city’s water and sewer pipes need to be replaced.
“The city has a $300 million budget and this is a $2 billion problem just short term and long term planning then apply the money as you get it,” said Whitehurst.
The Department of Environmental Quality said it’s collecting water samples, and monitoring the water’s quality.
Neighbors are hopeful that the problem will eventually be solved.