- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - Work has begun on a $1.3 million project to upgrade Thibodaux’s aging sewer system.

The first phase involves dredging the wastewater treatment plant’s 8-acre lagoon.

City executive assistant Ryan Perque told The Daily Comet (https://bit.ly/1hJY7DT) that hasn’t been done since the 1980s.

“What they’re doing is they’re removing all of the sewer sludge,” Perque said. “It has to be pressed and dried out, and the dry materials are hauled off for the landfill. That will allow for better operation and additional capacity at the existing plant.”

Work began May 28 and is expected to be complete in September 4, Perque said.

The plant treats about 3 million gallons of sewage per day, but that number can double on rainy days.

Officials have said heavy rain storms can overburden the city’s aging pipes, but Zoning Administrator Errol Price said they haven’t been an issue recently.

The project has been bonded out and will be covered by the city’s three-year sewage rate increase.

In 2012, the City Council agreed to increase sewer charges to finance a new wastewater treatment facility.

The charges increased by $1.09 over the next three years for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

Phase two involves construction of a $7 million wastewater treatment plant for Thibodaux’s north side. The plant is in the design stage, Perque said, but will likely be identical to the existing plant.

Water on the north side of the city will be treated at the north plant and the existing southside plant will treat water on the south side.

Aside from the new plant and dredging work, nearly half of the rate increase will end years of the city’s wastewater accounts being in the red, officials said.

Other work being done to improve the sewage system includes improving existing pump stations and replacing cracked pipes.

Three of the city’s 40 pump stations that move sewage to the treatment plant have been upgraded, Price said.

“That’s going to help out all of the west side of Thibodaux. Tiger Drive, Barbier Drive, Oak Street, all of that is going to be helped out with large 16-inch pumps,” Price said.

The improvements will allow more water to be pumped to the station without overflow, Price said.

An upgrade of piping in the southwest section of the city is more than 300 days behind schedule.

The $1.2 million project would improve service on the southwest side and upgrade piping from the south pump stations to the sewage plant. The pipes back up during heavy rains and overload the city’s pump stations.

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Information from: Daily Comet, https://www.dailycomet.com


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