A field trip worth taking
March 14, 2004
With all of the engineering and technological advances of the modern age, you'd think the problem of raw sewage polluting anyone's back yard would be a thing of the past.
Not so in the Jeffery Acres Road vicinity of the Long Creek community of Lauderdale County, where resident Raymond Sims has documented a smelly mess that is fouling his property. His children can't do one of the things all children should be able to do play in their own back yard.
As reported in The Meridian Star on Thursday by staff writer Fredie Carmichael, the stench in Sims' yard is so suffocating that it burns his eyes.
Sims believes the mess is caused by a leaky sewer system in an apartment complex located next door to his property; the owner of the apartment complex says it's not her sewer system's fault.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is examining the problem and Lauderdale County Supervisor Ray Boswell says he, too, wants to help.
Sims has a very specific problem and the waste is coming from somewhere. That source should be identified and a solution found as quickly as possible.
But in some ways, Sims is also the victim of Lauderdale County's reluctance to implement a countywide wastewater ordinance. Only 26 of Mississippi's 82 counties have wastewater ordinances and none of the nine counties that make up District VI of the Mississippi State Department of Health Lauderdale, Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Smith counties have countywide wastewater ordinances.
All county residents would be better served if Lauderdale County supervisors took advantage of modern technology and adopted such an ordinance. If they doubt its value, perhaps all members of the board and other county officials should take a field trip to Raymond Sims' house.
Sloshing around in his smelly back yard and seeing the pool of brown, murky water might help clear their minds and accentuate the need for action.