Heavy rains cause sewer problems for some residents, and as the population continues to rise, that problem could become a lot worse.
Because of that, St. Charles Parish officials have contracted Environmental Engineering Services to upgrade at least eight of the parish’s lift stations. Each of the lift stations are considered top priorities by the Public Works Department so that sewerage doesn’t back up into ditches and homes during heavy rains.
“St. Charles Parish relies heavily on lift stations spread out near subdivisions parishwide to keep sewage from overflowing during rain and storm events,” Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said. “Problems like sewage backing up into homes can cause serious problems and mean costly repairs for homeowners.”
Upgrading the lift stations would fix those problems.
“Upgrading these lift stations would eliminate sewers backing up,” St. Pierre said. “It would also eliminate unnecessary lawsuits filed against the parish when a homeowner has to take carpet and floors out because of problems like this.”
Sam Scholle, the director of Public Works and Wastewater, said at last month’s council meeting that the sewage lift stations are reaching the point of maximum capacity.
“There are eight stations in the parish that we’ve determined are high priority,” he said at a recent council meeting. “Upgrading these stations will prevent overflow.”
Scholle says these eight stations will require upgrades like larger pumps, new transmission lines, and a back-up pumping system.
During Hurricane Gustav, many of the over 200 lift stations across the parish remained without power. There was also no way to tell residents if their homes were hooked up to a working lift station because there are so many of them. The parish hopes that upgrades to the system could help improve situations like this in the future.
Because of the loss of power, sewage backup was a big concern to the parish. Residents were asked to use showers sparingly and not wash clothes as often. Parish officials warned residents the system could back sewage into their homes and the parish wouldn’t be responsible for those repairs.
With this plan in place, parish officials and the council hope to keep events like this under control.
Lift stations are what get wastewater to the treatment plants in the parish and keep sewage from overflowing into areas where it shouldn’t be.