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Aldermen Agree To MDEQ Order Reducing Wastewater Ammonia-Nitrogen Discharge

Alderman Bobby Cox asks a question during the special called meeting Monday. On the left is Alderman Larry Bell and on the right is City Clerk Vivian Snider. Not visable are Aldermen Donald Gray and Phillip Tallant.

WATER VALLEY – During a brief called meeting of the Board Monday afternoon, Aldermen agreed to an order to reduce the ammonia-nitrogen discharge from the City’s wastewater treatment facility.

Mayor Larry Hart read a letter from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) stating that the effluent BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) five-day limitation was exceeded during the months of March, April, and June of 2009 and the effluent ammonia-nitrogen limitation was exceeded during the months of January, April and July.

“I’ve got to sign this thing and agree to a fine if we don’t get it done,” Hart told Aldermen. “They have given us some real leeway.”

In the agreed order, the City has until Nov. 30, 2010, to bring the wastewater treatment facility into compliance with the BOD five-day and the ammonia-nitrogen limitation in the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit.

Then the City has to comply with the restrictions for three consecutive months. City officials have to submit a written report detailing how compliance was accomplished, Hart added.

According to the terms of the agreement, the City will pay a $10,000 fine if the limits aren’t met. Additionally, the City would be fined $500 per month of non-compliance after Feb. 28, 2011.

“That’s the meat of the deal,” Hart said. “I think that’s reasonable. They have heard our cries and complaints. We’re making good progress on it even today.”

Hart explained to Aldermen that the reason for the special meeting was that MDEQ officials suggested that the order needed to be returned before the scheduled Dec. 1 regular meeting. “I wouldn’t have shorted you if Jim Harvey (of MDEQ) hadn’t shorted me.”

“He said ‘Git-r-done.’”

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