Green Oaks Project a Key Step in Starkville’s Capital Improvement Plan

Sewer upgrades are part of Future FOCUS initiative to benefit customers

Details around the next phase of Starkville Utilities’ five-year capital improvement plan will be shared during an information meeting at the Starkville City Hall Boardroom Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

The one-hour meeting is open to residents of the Green Oaks neighborhood where sewer system upgrades are set to begin later this month. Infrastructure investments are a key driver of Starkville Utilities’ new Future FOCUS initiative that seeks to ensure customers are served with safe, reliable, affordable utilities now and well into the future.

“Future FOCUS is about making the right decisions today that will benefit customers and the city of Starkville for generations to come,” said Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “The Green Oaks project is a major step forward in our use of modern technology to upgrade a large portion of our city’s aging sewer infrastructure. We believe customers will be pleased with the results, both from a funding and implementation standpoint.”

To minimize disruptions to customers, Starkville Utilities will use a minimally invasive “rehab in place” process that minimizes the need to dig up pipes to only those completely failed sections or suspend service while work is in progress. In addition, Starkville Utilities is minimizing financial impacts to customers via a federal grant program to fund most of the project scope. Work begins later this month and is expected to be complete by October 2021.

The Green Oaks project will refurbish approximately 3.5 miles of sewer lines using cured-in-place robotic technology, which involves inserting a plastic liner inside of existing pipes to create a jointless, seamless, fully integrated and intact sewer system. The project scope also includes 93 manholes that will be rehabbed or replaced.

The new liner’s longevity and performance are comparable, and in some cases superior, to replacing the system with new pipes. Crews will work from manhole to manhole to install the liner in segments, and sewer lines will be returned to service almost immediately.

Utility workers will inform customers in advance if access to yards is needed.

Outages are not expected, but if they occur, crews will make every effort to quickly restore service.

The project represents a $1.2 million investment, 80 percent of which will be funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through a competitive grant process. The remaining portion will be funded by Starkville Utilities.

“The Green Oaks project is the culmination of many months of detailed planning and preparation to ensure the best results possible for Starkville Utilities customers,” said Mayor Lynn Spruill. “The project team worked hard to deliver a high-quality, economical upgrade solution that will improve Starkville’s utility services without impacting customer rates.”

As part of its five-year capital improvement plan, Starkville Utilities is investing more than $25 million to replace aging portions of the city’s water and sewer services and update critical components at its wastewater treatment facility. In 2020, Starkville Utilities completed an upgrade project in Pleasant Acres, which involved replacing all water and sewer infrastructure. Similar projects also are being planned in Rolling Hills and Oktibbeha Gardens.

“Our goal is to ensure the solution to each area is specifically designed to optimize the value to our customers utilizing most current techniques and material.,” Kemp said. “Continuous improvement is part of our mission to create the utility of the future, and we’re staying true by providing services and technologies to better serve our today and tomorrow.”

Starkville Utilities is a public utility serving 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville, Mississippi as well as Mississippi State University. Its mission is to supply safe, reliable, and cost-effective electric and water service of superior quality and value that improves the lives of its customers.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville