Parish finds 78 leaks in sewer

some residents may foot bill

June 11, 2008 at 10:09 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parish finds 78 leaks in sewer
Smoke billowing up from yards and ditches this month in St. Charles Parish indicated that the contractor responsible for testing sewer lines found leaks in the sewer system.

Those leaks must now be repaired, even at the expense of some residents.

Sammy Accardo, assistant director of wastewater for the parish, notified residents living in old Luling (from Monsanto to Ashton) and in Mimosa (from Primrose to Highway 90) about the testing. 

Some residents may be surprised to learn that the parish is not responsible for leaks found in someone’s yard.  Property owners will have to pay for the repairs themselves.
“We found 78 leaks from Monsanto to Ashton,” Accardo said.  “At least 52 of those leaks were on residential private property, and the residents should call a plumber to repair the leak.”

Accardo says the parish doesn’t have the authority to go onto private property to repair the lines.
“Leaks are serious,” he said.  “When it rains the system becomes surcharged, filled to capacity, and has no place to go but to flow into yards and/or streets.

“That’s why, during a rain event, residents can’t flush their toilets,” he continued. “The sewerage could back up into their homes if they do so.”

Accardo says he also tells residents to minimize water usage because it contributes to the problem.
“In Willowdale and Willowridge, we know it’s a big problem,” he said.  “When the developers continued to add new houses and subdivisions in those areas, the sewer system remained the same and it can’t accommodate the amount of people living there.”

Accardo says plans are underway to upgrade the Beaupre Lift Station that directly impacts all of Willowdale and Willowridge.
“The council already approved an engineering study to be done,” he said. “And the project should go out for bids this month.”

As rainwater fills the sewer system, Accardo says pressure builds up. Manhole covers may be lifted, allowing sewage to flow into the streets and ditches because the system cannot handle that amount of water.  

“That’s why, when we see kids playing in the flooded streets, we’re concerned,” he said.  “We wouldn’t want to see anyone get hurt in an area by falling in a spot where a manhole cover has lifted off.”

Accardo says the parish is working on fixing the problem.
“Right now, crews are working to repair some of the broken lines,” he said.  “The process takes time and won’t happen overnight.”

The parish sewer system is completely separate from the public works/drainage system in the parish and was designed to eliminate the use of septic tanks.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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