Have you noticed the water in the Ross Barnett Reservoir and local creeks is murky after rainstorms? That’s because of sedimentation, and a lack of erosion-control measures on local construction sites.
Sedimentation is when soil washes off the land and into the water, making the water more ugly and impairing fish habitat. It clogs waterways, making it necessary to dredge. Dredging comes with a big price tag — a bill most taxpayers do not want to pay. And even worse, it can even cause health problems in people.
Sedimentation occurs most often when land is disturbed, mainly construction sites, and rain washes loose soil into ditches and stormwater systems. Land miles from the Reservoir still sends its water (and whatever pollutants are in tow) to the lake. It’s important to remember that everyone lives in a watershed. Keep the Rez Beautiful volunteers are noticing building
sites that are not in compliance with ordinances and laws of our local and state governments. When land is developed, erosion-
control measures are required. But people do not always listen. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District says that Reservoir-area residents are burdened by a lack of responsibility of others not on district property.
On Thursday at 6 p.m. at Northwest Rankin Middle School cafeteria, the Pearl River Water Supply District is proposing a new dredging plan, which will help relieve the ill effects of sedimentation. Dredging is expensive, and unfortunately the leaseholders of the District’s property are footing the bill for a problem caused by other people. We need to strive to educate people and builders about the importance of using erosion-control measures.
Erosion-control measures include silt fences and other tools that prevent sediment from leaving a site. Pearl River Valley, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and other local governments and groups are working to ensure these laws are enforced, but we need the help of our citizens in staying vigilant. If you see a large amount of dirt disturbed on a construction site and don’t see a black silt fence, you should contact local
authorities immediately. If you see the water near your home turn a murky brown after it rains, you should contact them immediately, too.
To report a missing erosion-control measure, call:
856-6574 for sites in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District;
939-4243 for sites in Flowood;
825-1475 for sites in unincorporated Rankin County;
856-3877 for sites in Ridgeland;
855-5500 for sites in unincorporated Madison County; and
961-5171 for sites more than 5 acres in any location.