Hattiesburg Sewage Proposals Stink! (by Mr. Jeckyl reader / contributor)


Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree The smell in the downtown area is NOT sewage. The smell is NOT the chicken plant. The smell is rotting molasses produced by USAYeast.

The Hattiesburg City Council has offered three plans for handling the sewage in the city. They left out the most obvious option for correcting the horrible smell in the downtown area.

Why not end the CORPORATE WELFARE and force USAYEAST to process their own industrial waste?

ALL the waste-water treatment problems in Hattiesburg come from USAYeast, a yeast production facility located in the Tatum Industrial Park. This company is successful because it has managed to dupe the City of Hattiesburg into treating their industrial waste - in essence, while their competitors must spend millions treating their waste, USAYeast has found a gullible city in south Mississippi to do that job for them! This practice cuts the production costs and increases USAYeast's profits - this is CRONY CAPITALISM at it's worst!

Imagine if Marshall-Durbin wanted the SAME right from the city. What if they threaten to shift operations to their Jasper, AL plant if they didn't get it? The citizens of Hattiesburg would be forced to treat/handle millions of pounds of chicken waste per year. What if Speedy Oil Change had the same "deal" with the city? Hattiesburg would have to separate and dispose of thousands of gallons of used oil every year. I wonder what the city would do if Forrest General Hospital wanted the same access to the treatment facilities for medical waste?

Over the past 5 years, the city has spent MILLIONS on aeration equipment and treatment lagoons rather than spending those millions on cops, teachers and street-sweepers! (over 120 "aeration units" units that cost over $5,000 per unit AND have to be maintained at an average cost of over $1,000 PER UNIT PER YEAR plus they burn 150kw/hr of electricity PER UNIT PER DAY).

This problem can be solved for FREE: Make USAYeast process their own waste! Yes, the city does have a contract to handle that waste, but there is a great likelihood that USAYeast has been sending the effluent with higher molasses content than was promised in the beginning – this should be investigated. If we can find just one instance where this has happened (and I have it from reliable sources this HAS happened – many times), then the contract is void and we can renegotiate.

I love capitalism, but THIS is not it. I don't know whether USAYeast could survive without this subsidy, but if they can't, then they should go out of business. It is not the place of the government to “prop-up” any corporation, be it General Motors, Bear-Stearns or USAYEAST!

Mr. Jeckyl

*This article was submitted to the Hattiesburg Patriot by a fan and reader who wanted to remain anonymous. These are not the express views of the Hattiesburg Patriot. If you would like to contribute please message us via Facebook or email.


30 thoughts on “Hattiesburg Sewage Proposals Stink! (by Mr. Jeckyl reader / contributor)

    1. Biljac Burnside

      anyone can research what a yeast plant puts into a sewerage lagoon … the waste plant managers knew … it is public knowledge, so everyone knew ….. the lagoon can handle it with enough aerators … let the company buy the city a few and help on the electricity payments ……. it is not rocket science …

  1. Garry Loper

    When USA Yeast first came here they promised hundreds of jobs, that never happened, they produced less than fifty. Ironically enough, one of the people who did get one of the few jobs was, the Chief Operation Officer of the city at the time, Beverly Commodore's husband. I don't want to burst the bubble for anyone, but just a cursory investigation would uncover why they left Mobile Al. Ask yourself, why would a company spend millions of dollars to move from Mobile to here? Ask yourself, what condition was Mobile's sewer system in by the time USA left? A county supervisor in Mobile Co. told me that they forced USA to leave because Mobile could no longer afford them because they had wrecked Mobile's sewer system. Had any due diligence been done by city leadership this would have been uncovered.

    1. Hattiesburg Patriot

      From a high level official (Not Jeckyl):

      The city sued USA Yeast for this very reason, and settled out of Court when they agreed to treat their own waste. It is important to note that USA Yeast was able to procure a significant amount of funding through MDA for the construction of this treatment facility.

      The fact remains that EPA/MDEQ continues to tighten the restrictions on sewer effluent under the Clean Water Act, and that is why we are looking for alternative treatment methods. Even with USA Yeast treating their industrial waste, we will not be able to meet future EPA/MDEQ regulations with our current lagoon system.

    2. Garry Loper

      My point being, that had any due diligence been conducted, the reason USA was being forced out of Mobile would have been discovered. Once that was discovered only a fool would allow them to come here and do the same thing. Your point of the inadequacy of our system is duly noted, I don't disagree. However, had the due diligence been done we could have save ourselves headache, legal battles, money and time.

  2. Debra Sue Odom Dickinson

    I live down by paul b and the smell woke me up this morning when the wind is just right we can smell it don't here my husband works in hattiesburg and other family memebers there times that they get so sick of smellin that as I do when I go to hattiesburg its bad when my grandaughter says what is that smell and she is only 5 I just hope they fix the problem soon people r not gotta want to move here because of the smell.

  3. Linda Albin McMurtrey

    I'm with Jane Claire in that anonymous submissions are not in keeping with the spirit and purpose of Hattiesburg Patriot. Again, it is my understanding that the contract was renegotiated by the City, so let's move on with the general waste treatment issue.

    1. Jane Clair Tyner

      The fact remains our sewage system is horribly outdated and in desperate need of an overhaul. That fact has nothing to do with USA Yeast. Even if USA Yeast closed shop and left the likelihood of that resulting in the city not moving forward with a new sewage plant is highly doubtful.
      As to Mr Jeckyl, if he does have credible sources with evidence of effluent containing higher molasses content, then why not bring said evidence forward so the city can be allowed to renegotiate their contract? To refrain from doing so only continues the problem of "crony capitalism". To not do so shows a disregard for civic duty. And hiding behind anonymity…not very patriotic either.

  4. Hattiesburg Patriot

    It is my understanding that USA YEAST has a pre treatment facility in the works at this very moment. I spoke with Bert, the city engineer and he said that their new pretreatment facility would reduce their BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) by ten fold. This will cut down tremendously on the odor. It does appear that this reader is spot on with his analysis.

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