Section of Beach Closed in Biloxi Due to Sewage Spill

A faulty switch in the Brady Drive lift station caused a section of coastline east of Beauvoir to Sadler Beach Drive to be closed Tuesday. These lift stations were damaged during Hurricane Katrina and have been problematic ever since.

Sean and Shannon Terry are from Alabama, but they wanted a fresh start. They sold their belongings, quit their jobs, and moved to Biloxi, but with the whole country to choose from, why Biloxi? Sean says, "The beach honestly, we want to live by the water. Our kids love it. We go to the park and we don’t really enjoy the park. The kids enjoy the beach and we enjoy the beach."

Tuesday morning, a faulty switch in the lift station on Brady Drive caused about 50 gallons of waste water to empty into the Gulf. There are over 100 of these stations across the Coast, and many of them were damaged during Katrina and are operating in various states of disrepair or still using temporary pumps. The city notified the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (M.D.E.Q.), who promptly closed the beach.

Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager for Biloxi, says, "You know, a lot of communities are afraid to do that. We do it here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast because we want to assure our locals as well as our visitors that this water has been tested. We let people know that and take corrective action."

Obviously, a closed beach is bad for tourism, but what about the local businesses that rely on access to a clean beach to survive? Sean also says, "It’d probably like cripple it. I mean, that’s what they do, they rent jet skis, the little benches, it’d really hurt them."

The city is working to replace and improve the infrastructure by installing a new waterline and replacing many of the lift stations with more efficient models. These major renovations will are nine years in the making and will still take some time to complete. Creel also says, "This project is going to start in the middle of next year and it’s going to be a two year project. The problem is that we don’t have a lot of easements between the beach and Highway 90, so what we are having to do is purchase or acquire that easement."

Until the project is finished, beach goers should keep an eye out for beach closures, but it hasn’t dampened the spirits of the Terrys beach bums.

Sean closes, "Love Biloxi!"

Categories: Local News, News

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