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News 2 Investigates: Sewage Mistreatment follow up

3 years 9 months 2 hours ago August 26, 2013 Aug 26, 2013 Monday, August 26 2013 August 26, 2013 9:54 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Brittany Weiss

LIVINGSTON - State agencies say there is an improvement in wastewater treatment facilities, but they still have a long way to go before they're in compliance.

The Department of Environmental Quality says many wastewater companies operate private facilities that are not up to code.

Some facilities, create a stinky problem for homeowners.

"Our problem has been here for years," said Warren Curtis. "The promises need to go away, and we need action."

Two months ago, the News 2 Investigative Unit began investigating Mo-Dad Utilities, a company that's been under the microscope by state agencies and slapped with hundreds of violations.

During their investigation, DEQ found violations including high fecal coliform levels, untreated sewage and broken filters at 140 Mo-Dad facilities across five parishes.

Last December, DEQ ordered Mo-Dad to clean up their mess and says progress has been made. Mo-Dad has cleared sludge from 38 subdivisions and is ahead of schedule.

"The concentration were reduced by 50 percent," said DEQ spokesperson Celena Cage. "There were a reduction of pollutants being discharged."

But there are more problems than solutions. Mo-Dad tells DEQ they need $17 million to bring facilities up-to-date and in compliance with regulations.

That could mean a rate increase for Mo-Dad customers.

In May, a number of sewage treatment plants were purchased by the Livingston Parish Sewer District from Mo-Dad Utilities.

The parish has cleaned up a sewage problem and kept things clean for a quick-fixes.

The district plans to purchase more facilities from Mo-Dad and do away completely with privately-owned sewage treatment facilities.

"One of the big positives is going to be cleaning up the environment," said Sewer District Engineer Edward Aydell.

Mo-Dad officials refused our requests for an interview regarding their repair plans or how much of a rate increase they will seek from the public service commission.

To see a map of the planned construction zone, click here.

To see the full report with a list of affected subdivisions, click here. To see exactly what was found in your subdivision, first find the Roman numerals in front of your neighborhood's listing on pages 3-6, then scroll down in the document until you reach the paragraph with those same Roman numerals.

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