By the Way

These sounds violate the Bay’s new noise ordinance. Seriously.

If the Sun Herald had a printing press in Bay St. Louis, it would likely violate the city’s noise ordinance after 7 p.m.
If the Sun Herald had a printing press in Bay St. Louis, it would likely violate the city’s noise ordinance after 7 p.m. jmitchell@sunherald.com

As city authorities begin to launch a crackdown on sound in Bay St. Louis, residents may want to be mindful of common household and workplace noises that could violate the new law.

On Tuesday, the City Council adopted a new noise ordinance, capping noise limits in residential zones at 65 decibels from 7 to 10 p.m. and 55 decibels from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

As the Sun Herald reported earlier this week, normal speech typically registers at 60 decibels. This makes late-night porch conversations very risky in the Bay. Other risky sounds:

  • Vacuum cleaner — 70 decibels: Close windows and doors when vacuuming
  • Hair dryer — 70 decibels: Try towel or air drying
  • Washing machine — 78 decibels: Careful if yours is in a garage or shed
  • Garbage disposal — 80 decibels: Don’t prepare more than you can eat; feed leftovers to pets
  • Food blender — 85-90 decibels: Don’t use outside; purchase smoothies instead
  • Television — 70-90 decibels: Read
  • Subway — 88 decibels: Sell your subway to a New York resident
  • Newspaper printing press — 97 decibels: The Sea Coast Echo may need to buy a hand press
  • Electric furnace — 100 decibels: Use the fireplace
  • Jet flyover (at 1,000 ft.) — 103 decibels: Pull up
  • Snowmobile — 105 decibels: You should be OK in the Bay — for 30 years or so
  • Boom box — 120 decibels: Antiques aren’t meant to be used
  • Alarm clock — 65-80 decibels: Now you have an excuse to sleep in
  • Coffee grinder — 70-80 decibels: Come on, don’t be a coffee snob
  • Toilet flush — 75-85 decibels: No recommendation available
  • Pop-up toaster — 80 decibels: Make toast only during daylight hours
  • Baby crying — 110 decibels: Try singing a lullaby or use rocking chair
  • Noisy squeeze toys — 110 decibels: Dispose of immediately, for everyone’s sake
  • Artillery fire (at 500 feet) — 150 decibels: Make peace with your neighbor
  • Bicycle horn — 143 decibels: Use bell instead
  • Balloon popping — 157 decibels: Keep sharp objects out of reach of children

Sources for decibel levels: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Center for Hearing and Communication.

  Comments