Moss Point touts cleaner water with reverse-osmosis treatment

Untreated water on the left and water treated with the reverse osmosis process.
Untreated water on the left and water treated with the reverse osmosis process. Special to the Sun Herald

The city called a meeting Tuesday to showcase its state-of-the-art water-treatment system, which officials said has turned the water supply from brown and smelly to among the cleanest and healthiest on the Coast.

H2O Innovation and Utility Partners joined city officials at Pelican Landing Conference Center to demonstrate reverse osmosis, a water-purification technology that has a special membrane filtering out unwanted ions, molecules and larger particles from drinking water.

The system has been used in Moss Point since 2009.

“It’s a very simplistic, non-chemical-related water-treatment functionality that works on the molecular level,” said Jason Deal, regional sales and engineering manager of H20 Innovation. “We’ve been able to clean up the water by eliminating the bigger molecules such as iron oxide. A lot of the (brown) color the citizens were used to seeing is naturally removed through this process with no chemical addition.”

The result: The state once rated Moss Point’s water a 2 out of a possible 5. Now, for the third year, the city has received the top score of 5.

“Even as the water quality worsens coming out of the ground wells, we would still be able to provide high-quality water to the city,” Deal said.

Aldermen Houston Cunningham and Wayne Lennep said they have been pleased with the turnaround.

“Having been reared here for years and having drunk, bathed and done everything in that brown water, it was a great excitement, not only for me but for the city, to be on the receiving end of that clean water,” Cunningham said. “People would come in from other places, into our motels, get ready to shower and see the brown water and smell the odor. Now, we would match our water against probably anybody in the world.”

“I’m very pleased with this process,” Lennep said. “I think Moss Point has some of the cleanest, best water in the Coast now.”

Deal said he has no problem answering the main question residents ask.

“‘Is my water safe to drink?’ For the city of Moss Point, it’s a resounding ‘yes.’”

Officials said more community meetings and demonstrations are planned.