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City works to renew permit to release water

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Wastewater Treatment Plant is currently in the process of renewing its permit to release the city’s wastewater into the Mississippi River.

The permit renewal with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is routine and must be completed every five years, City Engineer and Natchez Water Works Superintendent David Gardner said.

The city’s treated wastewater travels from the River Terminal Road plant through a wastewater stream and is released into the river near the former Belwood Country Club site.

The city is not changing anything about its discharge process, Gardner said, and the wastewater will continue to be released into the river as it has for years.

Water Works is required to submit its daily and monthly testing for ammonia, chlorine residual, nitrogen, phosphorus and other compounds for the permit.

Water Works also had to complete $20,000 in testing by an outside company for less common compounds, including copper, lead, mercury, silver and others as part of the repermitting process.

“That testing is done every five years, so we budget that money every five years in order to renew the permit,” he said.

All of those tests came back clean, Gardner said.

The permit review process takes a couple months because the public is given a 30-day notice, Gardner said. The permit should be renewed near the middle of April.