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Greenwood wastewater plant faces costly upgrade

GREENWOOD — The city of Greenwood is struggling to meet new state Department of Environmental Quality wastewater discharge standards by 2015.

In July, the city hired the engineering firm of Neel-Schaffer of Jackson to conduct a study of the costs of meeting the new requirements. That study cost $97,000.

Earlier this month, the firm completed its draft report, which was presented to Mayor Carolyn McAdams and Benny Herring, director of the Public Works Department.

“They gave us different scenarios,” the mayor said. “The least expensive was improving the existing wastewater treatment plant.”

Price tag for the minimum upgrades: $20 million. Now comes the tricky part of coming up with the funds to pay for it.

McAdams said the other options, besides costing from $26 million to $30 million, would have required that a new treatment plant be built.

Defraying the $20 million upgrades will likely require attracting other noncompliant wastewater treatment systems in the county, such as Sidon and Mississippi Valley State University, to hook on to the system, she said.

“This could be a regional hub. It would certainly be a cost savings. We’ve been told that we have the capacity,” McAdams said.

Of course, the mayor said, the outlying communities that might conceivably link with the city’s sewer system would have to lay down sewer pipes at their own expense.

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