Hernando Lagoon Reclamation
What do you do with a leftover lagoon? Turn it into a soccer field.
The City of Hernando was in danger of being fined by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality if the city did not close down the site of the former North Hernando Wastewater Lagoon and divert wastewater to the countywide wastewater system. Rather than let a golden opportunity slip them by, the City came up with the idea of creating the soccer-only field to accommodate the growing community.
The project required extensive assistance with funding, planning, and execution of turning sewage lagoons into eco-friendly community soccer fields. By working in collaboration with the City, SSR was able to help coordinate funding needs through loans and grants. The project was completed under the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Water Pollution Control (Clean Water) Revolving Loan Fund Program (WPCRLF) which required 25% of the project meet green qualifications in order to receive support. To meet the qualifications, existing fill dirt was used to create level fields; the parking lot was developed with recycled asphalt, and all other fill is composed of permeable gravel.
Due to the regulations of the EPA guidelines, the existing lagoon was unable to be filled on top of sludge so a system was created to test lagoon water, drain water into the creek, and dry out sludge for proper removal and disposal. With three times more sludge than expected, the budget was readjusted to properly manage the removal and disposal of all sludge and waste.
The soccer complex is located in close proximity to local neighborhoods. Since it previously served as a low point for drainage collection, the City created a stormwater plan to prevent flooding of nearby neighborhoods. The soccer fields were designed as low points with eight inch water lines so stormwater drain off would be collected on the fields and drain to nearby creek, rather than flood neighborhoods.
With a tight budget already in place and additional expenses incurred on the sludge removal, there were limited funds to bring in top soil for the new soccer fields. Instead, the existing pond soil was used. This presented complications in getting the Bermuda grass to grow with a lack of nutrients and rocky soil. The facility also lacked an existing irrigation system for the sod. The team worked with the Hernando Soccer Association to help raise the additional money for sodding and irrigation systems.
The City’s master plan vision for this park included a soccer complex, skate park, Frisbee golf course, youth football and baseball fields, dog park, adult softball fields, pavilion, tennis courts, splash park, indoor basketball court, and more. The City owned 35 acres of the site and Renasant bank donated an additional 40 acres, securing the naming rights of Renasant Park, to the entire planned complex.
The Hernado Lagoon Reclamation repurposed land project creating the Renasant Park Soccer Complex represents the true coming together of a community — city, county, associations, residents, and engineers — to provide an exciting difference for this community for many years.