Hattiesburg Launches Clean Start Initiative to Rehab Residential Property Sewer Lines

Hattiesburg Launches Clean Start Initiative to Rehab Residential Property Sewer Lines

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Aimed at enhancing the City of Hattiesburg’s environmental health and quality of life, the Clean Start Sewer Program is now taking applications for sewer line rehabilitation grants.

Clean Start is dedicated to repairing or replacing deteriorated, broken or improperly connected sewer service lines within a designated priority area for the City. This program has approximately $200,000 to allocate to repair projects for homeowners who meet specific criteria.  

“The goal of this program is to significantly reduce the inflow and infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “We believe this is a mutually beneficial opportunity for both our residents to improve sewer infrastructure issues they may be facing on their own properties and for the City to enhance its overall sewer treatment program.” 

Requirements for the program include:

  • The home must be located within designated Priority Areas.
  • The home must be used for residential purposes.
  • The property must have a sewer service line that needs repair, replacement or disconnection of illicit connections.
  • Household income must qualify as low- to moderate-income, as per HUD FY 2023 Income Limits for Hattiesburg, MS.
  • Proof of ownership is required.

Heir properties and 16th-section land leaseholds may be eligible under certain conditions.

The initial program funding is set to cover at least 45 repair, replacement, or illicit connection removal projects for eligible residential properties.

Anyone who meets all the criteria is encouraged to apply by visiting hattiesburgms.com/cleanstart. Additional information about requirements, the priority areas and HUD financial requirements can also be accessed via the website. 

This project is in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action, United States et al. v. City of Hattiesburg, taken on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to enforce the Clean Water Act and the Mississippi Air and Water Pollution Control Law.

In 2020, the City of Hattiesburg entered into a consent decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to significantly reduce sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and to improve the overall operations of Hattiesburg’s sewer system. 

The consent decree – a 16-year improvement plan – necessitates the implementation of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). These projects allow for investment (with landowner approval) into replacing defective private sewer laterals and illicit connections from residential properties where the owners face financial hardship. The Clean Start Sewer Program is the SEP for the City of Hattiesburg.

For additional questions, residents can call Transportation and Engineering at (601) 545-4640 or email cleanstartSEP@hattiesburgms.com.