Raw Sewage in the Bay: Beach closed after pump station hit by lightning
By Dwayne Bremer
Aug 13, 2014, 09:00
A section of the beach in Bay St. Louis was closed Monday after concerns over raw sewage flowing into the water from a damaged lift station. City leaders say the lift station has been fixed, but the beach remains closed.
A portion of the beach in Bay St. Louis was closed Monday after city officials learned that a damaged pump station was causing raw sewage to seep into the Bay of St. Louis.
Bay St. Louis Public Works Director Buddy Zimmerman said Tuesday that the lift station near Ruella and Second streets was apparently struck by lightning on Saturday.
The strike damaged the lift station and sewage began pumping into nearby ditches, officials said.
On Monday, city workers discovered the problem and immediately began repairs, Zimmerman said. The Ruella Street lift station is capable of pumping 100,000 gallons of sewage a day.
"The system held a lot of it, so we do not think everything spilled out," Zimmerman said. The ditches in that area drain into the Bay of St. Louis near Carroll Avenue, Zimmerman said.
On Monday, the Department of Environment Quality issued a beach closure for areas between Carroll Avenue and Julia Street. The beach was still closed by press time Tuesday.
Zimmerman said city workers have stopped the leak and placed a by-pass pump on the lift station.
Ditches have been cleaned and the city will continue to monitor them until DEQ gives the all clear, Zimmerman said.