Unwanted trash dumped in bayou

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 10, 2010

NATCHEZ — Less than a mile from a legal dump site, people have been dumping into a bayou on Muddy Fork Road.

People will dump garbage in the bayou even when the dumping station is open, said Wayne Johnson, who owns land nearby.

“My daughter and I were (on my Muddy Fork Road property) riding one day and we saw some people over there dumping mattresses,” Johnson said. “When they saw my daughter on the four wheeler, they took off.

“This happened in broad daylight.”

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said he would step up patrols in the area and the Adams County Board of Supervisors agreed to set up motion detecting cameras. If caught, illegal dumpers face a $500 fine.

“We’re going to try to catch someone,” Mayfield said. “If one or two people get caught and prosecuted it will help stop it.”

Mayfield said deputies would be going through garbage, looking for documentation to identify perpetrators.

Johnson said he put up a fence because if people couldn’t get to the bayou, they would dump on his property.

“They dumped a dead cow over on me,” he said.

Winter is the worst because the bayou often stinks of rotting animal flesh, Johnson said.

“During deer season they throw deer and animal carcasses on the hill,” Johnson said. “Dogs, with their ribs and skull exposed, are all over.

“Buzzards are always flying around over there. It is just a mess.”

Foster Mound Road resident Ruthie Hinton said the dogs are usually dumped there to starve to death.

“A year or so ago when we had a horse show at the arena, this puppy came out of bayou,” Hinton said. “I stopped, and 15 puppies came out of that bayou.”

Muddy Fork Road is accessed from Foster Mound Road. Hinton said she took the animals in for a night and then took them to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

Hinton said as a board member for the Adams County Equestrian Center located on Muddy Fork Road, she is embarrassed to host events at the center.

“We had people coming in from McComb and other places out of Natchez, and I was humiliated with what they had to drive around to get to the arena,” Hinton said. “There were mattresses in the road.”

Hinton said this has been going on all of her life, as her mother used to tell her about people using it.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the road department will utilize a Department of Environmental Quality grant to underwrite cleaning the illegal dumpsite.

“We have spent a lot of money trying to educate the public on dumping,” Grennell said. “We spend money on cleaning them up through the DEQ.

“We’ve put up signs, and in some cases, we were successful. We cleaned it, put up signs and there is no dumping on those sites.”

Grennell said the Muddy Fork Road bayou has a sign, but he wants to revisit it and see how visible it is.

While cleaning the site, signage, additional patrols and the cameras will help, ultimately Grennell said it will be tough to stop everyone.

“Some people are just naturally going to dump,” he said. “Until they are caught and convicted, that is the only way to change their minds.”