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Extra funds OK’d for treatment facility

Vicksburg’s wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road is getting extra money to complete repairs to damage caused by an April 2 storm.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a $750,000 emergency budget amendment for the plant to cover the cost of the remaining repairs.

The plant was inundated April 2 when two nearby streams swollen by a 10-inch rainfall overflowed their banks, putting 2 feet of water in the plant’s pump room, offices and lab. The plant’s four pump motors went under water, as well as the plant’s power panel, which runs the plant.

“As far as the electrical side, we still have some motors waiting to be put in, plus we have to do some work on our affluent controls — flow monitoring devices — to get them going,” said wastewater director Mark Engdahl.

He said two pumps are being rebuilt, and Hemphill Construction of Florence, the contractor hired to handle the flood repairs, is preparing to install a third pump. Also, office furniture, lab equipment and new appliances have to be bought.

“We have a new pump that just came in, and we’re waiting for Hemphill to get some time to put that in,” he said. “That will give us pretty much two new pumps; the big ones we use all the time. We should be in good shape as far as that.”

He said Patrick Electric Co., the electrical contractor hired to repair the plant’s power panel and other electrical problems caused by the flood, is wrapping up its work, and new walls are being installed and painted in the lab.

The work comes as the plant prepares for another type of flooding when the Mississippi River hits its predicted 48-foot crest.

Once the river level reaches a certain height, Engdahl said, is shuts down the plant’s gravity flow system that discharges the treated affluent into the river.

“Once it gets to a certain level, we have to pump it out, Patrick Electric has installed a motor on an affluent pump so we should be able to pump it out. I imagine when we get to 48 we should be (pumping out affluent).”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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