Metro Council approves ‘buffer’ zone for Gardere Waste Water Treatment facility
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - During the May floods of 2021, residents in the Gardere area say sewage poured out of the Waste Water Treatment facility in the area.
That raw sewage drained into the adjacent neighborhoods, flooding several homes. Residents in the area say it is not the first time it has happened.
“One homeowner I talked to said he’s flooded six times since 2014, and that’s inside his property and that doesn’t count how many times it’s overflowed into the ditches,” said Elliot Grand, a property owner who owns several homes and fourplexes adjacent to the plant.
According to East Baton Rouge Parish President Sharon Weston Broom’s office, the source of the “spills” is and has been under investigation. The parish has also been working on settlements with property owners for damages.
The Metro Council passed a measure to essentially create a buffer zone for the treatment plant. It would allow the parish to start negotiations with a small number of property owners who had their fourplexes flood during last May’s flood. It would give the raw sewage an area to go should it leak out again.
Rowdy Gaudet is the councilman for the area.
“That distance, certainly from a safety perspective, if an incident were to occur in the future, you have the buffer zone that will help protect from any spillage from reaching the residential area impacting residents,” Gaudet said.
The plan, Gaudet said, is a temporary fix. He said a more permanent solution would be to add more capacity to the plant, which he said would likely reduce the possibility of it overflowing. It is a solution the parish is investigating.
“Ideally it would go away rather than just overflow a field nearby, which would be better than overflowing the neighborhood but ideally the problem would go away,” Grand said. “I don’t know if that’s realistic.”
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