New Albany’s wastewater treatment plant has been in the news for a couple of reasons lately.
First, the outmoded plant, about 70 years old, will soon be mostly replaced by a new plant north of the city.
The new plant will have updated equipment and larger capacity. It also will not be in the downtown area and adjacent to park and sportsplex areas like the present plant is.
Few people have been to the plant and many may not even know exactly where it is, reached by using Chickasaw Drive.
The present plant is large, about 40 acres, and could potentially represent a possible area for development or city use.
The second reason the facility is in the news concerns a connectivity plan to make the city more pedestrian-friendly and tie various tourism-related aspects of the city together.
Initially, planners suggested converting the wastewater plant area into an upscale RV park.
The problem with that is even after other parts of the facility are cleaned up to EPA specifications, one of the pools will have to be retained for emergency use. Also, a pumping station will be needed to pump waste to the new facility. The alternative would be to dig up and replace a huge amount of sewer pipe throughout the city.
This does not rule out having part of the property redeveloped but it is much too soon how practical that would be.
And even if the property cannot be redeveloped, officials say at least the odor problem should be mostly alleviated once the new plant goes into full operation next month.Northeast Mississippi, renovation, RV park, sportsplex, Union County, Wastewater Treatment Plant