ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa wasn't shy about the some of the water conditions in the parish.
"If you travel in Ascension Parish, you know, if you have water in ditches, it's probably wastewater," Matassa said. That's why he was so excited for the unveiling of a new sewer line in Darrow, which is the key to a cleaner parish.
It carries wastewater from the Hillaryville Treatment Plant to the Mississippi River. Before, that water would sit behind the plant and back up before being dumped into Bayou Conway, sometimes seeping into ditches. The Army Corps of Engineers stepped in to build this $2.1 million project. Three fourths of that is federal money in the form of a Community Development Block Gr ant (CDBG), while the rest was paid for by the parish.
"This is the first time treated wastewater is actually leaving Ascension Parish and not staying in the parish to go to our local waterways here," said Colonel Michael Clancy, one of the engineers that worked on the project.
CAO Ken Dawson says this is really just the beginning. This line will carry the wastewater from around 300 customers in the eastern part of the parish. Officials want to eventually work on more projects along Highway 44 in Donaldsonville and Gonzales. But it's a matter of money.
"I think it's just the timing. I think it's just the way everything laid out," Dawson said. "I mean, you had a CDBG gr ant that had dollars, and I think it's the foresight of the president to say, 'Well let's maximize those CDBG dollars for the expansion.'"
If that money eventually becomes available, Matassa also wants to build a regional plant in Darrow, one that would take the wastewater from all customers in eastern Ascension Parish, and transfer it to the Mississippi.