City of Vicksburg seeks grant to replace lead waterlines

Published 2:37 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

City officials are looking for federal assistance to help pay the cost of removing and replacing lead waterlines in Vicksburg’s water system.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Friday approved a resolution to apply for an Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Lead Service Line Replacement Grant and authorized Jackson-based engineering firm EJES Inc. to prepare the application.

The board’s action comes as city officials prepare to comply with an amendment to EPA regulations approved in March requiring municipal and water district water systems with lead waterlines to submit a lead service line replacement plan to state environmental agencies by Oct. 16, 2024.

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The board learned of the amendment in June and was forced to alter a plan to pave city streets because 19 of the 30 streets on the proposed paving list had lead waterlines under the pavement.

Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said some of the waterlines that would be removed under the order are more than 100 years old. Some, he said, go back to when the city’s water plant was on Lee Street near Ergon Marine and Golding Barge and drew the city’s water from the Mississippi River. The city’s present water plant was built in the early 1970s and the city now gets its water from wells.

“What we’re going to have to do is develop a plan and follow it,” he said. “We’re going to do the best we can and be as cautious as we can.”

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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