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DPW: Fix coming for sewage backup problem

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Posted: May 12, 2014 4:31 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: May 12, 2014 6:52 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: DPW, sewage backup, sewage, Sherwood Forest, Mollylea Drive

BATON ROUGE - People in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood want answers because raw sewage backs into their homes when it rains.

Residents say it's happened for years, and the smell sends some to check into hotels instead of staying at home. Others have to keep a watchful eye to make sure the water does not overflow.

"We're kind of on pins and needles all night long during the whole time it rains you know. Our commodes gurgle all night, so you listen to the music of the commodes gurgling all night you know," said Johnny Squyres.

The Department of Public Works says it plans to spend between $20-30 million to overhaul the sewage system in the Sherwood Forest area. DPW Special Projects Engineer Amy Schulze says the overhaul should be finished by the end of 2016.

"When we design projects we have to start at the very downstream end, so we have to start at the treatment plant and work our way up the system. Which means they're further out in the system, so it's taking us a little bit longer to get there," she said.

The city-parish Office of Risk Management says it has handled several claims on Mollylea Drive in the past few years. Ten years ago, Squyres received nearly $5,000 to repair damages caused by sewage overflow.

"We had wood floors at that time, and consequently the wood floors buckled. As a result of the wood floors buckling and messing up and so forth, we had to have the floors replaced," said Squyres.

DPW says it has received nearly 30 complaints about sewage backing up on Mollylea Drive since Jan. 2013. Schulze says DPW is doing its best to fix the problem.

"Nothing happens overnight. You don't usually buy a car overnight. You don't go and build a road overnight. Just like the sewer system, we can't build that overnight either," she said.

The sewer system overhaul includes plans to upgrade fifty sewer pump stations along with an upgrade to sewer lines in the Sherwood Forest area.

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