PEW! Mississippi city dealing with awful smell during sewer work

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

A project Tuesday by Suncoast Infrastructure to line the city’s main sewer line in the downtown area caused some downtown businesses and residents to complain of a strong, harsh odor.

City Assistant Public Works Director Dane Lovell said Florence-based Suncoast, which has the contract to assess and map the city’s sewer lines, was installing plastic liners that will extend the life of the sewer lines by 50 years.

The liners are melted before they are installed, causing the odor that many of the people downtown smelled.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Charles Bunniran with Allen & Hoshall, the project engineer, said the odor from the melted liners was not harmful and the smell should go away once the linings are cured.

He said the curing process is done by using either water or steam, and the odor could be disbursed by opening windows and using fans to move the odor out.

Bunniran said, however, that if someone smelled the odor in their building, it was evidence of a leak in the building’s sewer system.

“If the sewer system in the building is in good shape, the smell goes out through the (sewer) vent and you don’t smell it,” he said.

Bunniran said Suncoast is lining two sewer lines a day, weather permitting, and is working on lines in several areas in the city.

He said Suncoast has about 20 months remaining on its contract with the city.