ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The stench of raw sewage has consumed a small Ascension Parish subdivision for several years and residents are becoming frustrated.
The smell comes from a drainage lagoon in the middle of the Willow Lakes community. Owned by Denham Springs-based Mo-Dad Utilities, waste water from the nearby community washes into the pond.
The COO of the company, William Stegall, said there is an aerator in the water filtration system that is broken, allowing the smell to seep into the neighborhood. "Sometimes it's very metallic smelling, other times it's just plain stinky," said Priscilla Monson. Monson has called Willow Lakes home for 16 years.
Monson said she loves spending time in the garden, pruning her flowers and lemon tree. "That's why we moved out here, out of the town, where we'd have more space and I could have more gardening opportunities," she said.
However, in recent years, the smell has made time in the backyard unbearable. "I can't enjoy that anymore, I can't come out any more, it's just a shame," she said.
Monson and several other neighbors said they have called Mo-Dad repeatedly to complain, with no success. "I feel like I'm being ignored, I feel like they don't care about what's going on at my house," Mo-Dad said.
Mo-Dad declined a request for on-camera interview. However, the COO did say over the phone that the company currently does not have sufficient funding to pay for fixes on the lagoon and filtration system. They have petitioned the Public Service Commission for a rate hike to help pay for maintenance.
That means that Stegall would have to pay more to get rid of the smell she has asked them to take care of for several years. "I don't want to have a price increase when they're not doing their job," she said.
The petition for the rate increase is still pending before the Public Service Commission.