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Latest NewsWastewater Engineer Calls Hattiesburg City Council "Dumb and Dumber...

Wastewater Engineer Calls Hattiesburg City Council “Dumb and Dumber Political Leaders.”


A 2012 email obtained by the Hattiesburg Patriot depicts an engineer with Air Diffusion technologies at his wits end having to deal the Hattiesburg City Council’s irresponsible wastewater decisions. The city council refused free bottom air for the north lagoon in favor of much more expensive, less effective surface “paddle boat” aerators, which were known to be largely ineffective in lagoons deeper than 4 feet. Hattiesburg’s lagoons are 10 feet deep. The bottom aeration could be paid for with the electrical savings. The Engineer, John Hilde, with Air Diffusion Systems, says in a 1.15.2012 email,

dumb and dumber” I am so frustrated with the lack of cooperation in Hattiesburg city Council that I have washed my hands of Dumb and Dumber political leaders. They all need to study energy and accounting! What they (City Council) are doing is inexcusable and the people need to be told the truth.”

Members of the 2012 City Council: Kim Bradley, Carter Carroll, Dave Ware, Deborah Delgado, and Henry Naylor
CLICK to ENLARGE. Members of the 2012 City Council: Kim Bradley, Carter Carroll, Dave Ware, Deborah Delgado, and Henry Naylor

During an expansion of the city’s lagoon system, members of the city council voted to purchase top surface aeration that was known to be ineffective at breaking down sludge at the bottom of the lagoon. Surface “paddle boat aerators” use a tremendous amount of electricity; much more so that bottom air bubblers. Cost savings from electrical and maintenance expenses would have paid for the correct aeration.

Another letter obtained by the Hattiesburg Patriot and dated August 16th, 2011 is from wastewater expert Stephen Mitchell. Mitchell has worked on correcting aeration issues in the south lagoon where bottom diffusion air was installed. In a letter to the Mayor and city council, Mitchell warned the about repeating the expensive mistakes of the past of installing the inadequate surface “paddleboat” aerators in the north lagoon. Paddle boat style aerators use twice the electricity and are less affective than bottom air diffusion. Mitchell commented in a letter to the Mayor and City Council:

“Why would the city want to repeat the previous mistakes by installing horizontal rotor aerators in the new North lagoon System, that created issues in both systems?”

“Why would the city want these issues to come to the forefront during the next few years and, also, appreciably increase the power consumption?”

“What would the citizens think of the city wasting $283,000.00 per year, not to mention the capital expenditure for another system that has already proven inefficient.”

“I would think the citizens would be concerned about using an aeration system, that has failed in the past, and increased power consumption.”


CLICK to ENLARGE. Members of the 2012 City Council ignored wastewater experts to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Now they want to spend $140 Million Dollars on a system Hattiesburg residents don’t need.

Mr. Mitchell’s full letter along with bio engineer John Hilde’s email is below. If you see a Google error, either refresh the page of click the download link and it will populate the window.



  1. This city has wasted so much money on wastewater design it is criminal. The council and the mayor need to pause and listen to every voice with wastewater knowledge. We will be bankrupt if they continue down the road that they are headed. I also find it funny how Bradley continues to say it will cost 200 million to do a mechanical system when they had one presented to them for a maximum of 90 million but ignored it!Wake up Hattiesburg and don’t let these politicians continue to throw are money away.

  2. Well, this ‘wastewater engineer’ looks like he has a dog in the fight since he works with air diffused systems. Maybe Hburg needs an honest outside source? Maybe someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight who can have honest and open discovery about current technology and what is actually needed (if anything since USA waste is out of the south lagoons). The current city admin/council is purely incapable of this so why are you (Hattiesburg residents) letting them waste your money?

    • The problem all along has been inadequate and insufficient air. It’s why the lagoons went septic. Before 2007 we only had 30% of the air we needed. After 2007 we had 50%. They wouldn’t add sufficient air.

      Now that the yeast plant is pretreating their waste, we have plenty of air.

      What is interesting is that Michael Lavelle at USA Yeast offered to put the remaining air in the lagoons at his initial expense, with reimbursement coming from power savings. The engineers for the city declined that offer. Why?

  3. Ridgeland Police confirmed that attorney Precious Martin was killed in a four-wheeler accident tonight in the Bridgewater subdivision. The four-wheeler flipped several times. His ten year-old son was injured and taken to UMMC. Chuck McRae just said on his Facebook page the son is on life support.

  4. Does Hattiesburg not have a city engineer to advise the council on things they do not understand? I would assume most of the council are businessmen/women or attorneys and have absolutely no idea how a sewer treatment plant functions. You would think they would have (unbiased) council to advise them.

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