DPW officials address concerns of sewage draining into LSU Lakes - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

DPW officials address concerns of sewage draining into LSU Lakes

An image of the sewage coming out of the sewer during a rain storm. (Source: Matt Thomas) An image of the sewage coming out of the sewer during a rain storm. (Source: Matt Thomas)
The area of the LSU Lakes where the drain empties out. (Source: WAFB) The area of the LSU Lakes where the drain empties out. (Source: WAFB)
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works say they are close to completing a historic overhaul of the parish’s sewer system, but some residents say it’s not happening fast enough. 

Matt Thomas lives on Cedardale Ave. near the LSU Lakes and recorded video of one of the sewers failing during a large rain event. The video shows the sewer displacing the manhole cover and overflowing into the street and a nearby storm drain. That storm drain empties into the lake at the end of the street. 

"A half hour after the rain comes down the manhole covers blow off for approximately 6 to 8 hours solid, with a mountain of sewage coming out of the manhole," said Thomas. 

Thomas said once the water receded they noticed condoms and tampons on the street and other trash from the sewer. 

"To take raw sewage and dump it untreated directly into a lake under the Clean Water Act, which is a federal act, is illegal and there are strict penalties for that," said Thomas.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro councilman for the neighborhood said he sees the problem firsthand and has reported it. Councilman John Delgado said the city-parish is experiencing growing pains. 

"We are aware of the problem and we're working to fix it," said Delgado. "We talked to CH2 Hill, who is the contractor on the project, and they're doing everything they can to remedy the situation as quickly as possible." 

Upon viewing Thomas' video, DPW officials said they have adjusted the pumps in the area and hope that will prevent a future incident.

"As of last week, we were able to trim back some of our pumps," said DPW Director of Environmental Services Karen Khonsari. "It’s a capacity issue. We trim back or pumps and so this should not occur again." 

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