MCCOMB, Miss. — Mississippi and Louisiana authorities say it’s again safe to swim, wade, and fish in the Bogue Chitto River, and people who live and work on the waterway are relieved.
People have been warned away from the river since Sept. 16, when a levee breach at a Mississippi sewage plant spilled 1.3 million gallons of stormwater-diluted sewage into the river. Mississippi’s Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Health said Friday that the advisories were lifted.
The breach apparently was caused by beavers tunneling into the levee, The Enterprise-Journal of McComb reported (http://bit.ly/2daaM1R ).
“Those rascal beavers!” said Kim?Van?Dan of Canoe and Trail Outpost in Tylertown, Mississippi. She said the advisory against using the river stopped her business flat, and some groups canceled trips planned for October.
“You can’t blame them,” she said, noting that the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said at first that 6 million gallons of diluted sewage had spilled. The agency corrected the figure last week to 1.3 million gallons.
Van Dan said she will be in touch with groups that canceled for October, and is just glad that the spill happened near the end of canoeing season, rather than the start.
“We’re blessed that it didn’t happen in Marcy, April, May,” she said.
She herself wasn’t planning to get in immediately.
Jason Jones, who owns land in northern Pike County, said the water took on “a little greenish tint for a couple of days” after the spill, but that was the only change he noted.
“It looks back to normal to me,” he said.