Gas leaks plague City of Donaldsonville, mayor to look for federal help
DONALDSONVILLE - The City of Donaldsonville is looking for critical funding. The natural gas system is not holding up, so the mayor told WBRZ they're going to ask for federal help.
The lines were first put in around the 1920's, and Mayor Leroy Sullivan said replacing them will cost $7 million.
"It costs money to the city when you have a lot of leaks,” said Sullivan.
Right now, more than 14 miles of old cast iron gas lines aren't doing their job. Fourteen percent of the gas running through the city's pipes are leaking out.
"The lines get more brittle over time,” said Sullivan.
Crews are busy fixing leaks at least twice a week. But what the city really needs, is to completely replace the outdated gas lines.
"So that we're able to provide more gas pressure and be able to accommodate more growth in the city,” explained Sullivan.
The mayor said they're limited to the amount of gas they can put out.
"We're mandated to stay under 25 pounds of pressure. When you go above that pressure you have the tendency to have a lot more leaks."
These are leaks they can't afford, which is why the mayor is going to look elsewhere for help.
"Cedric Richmond, who represents this area, to see if there's anything in the national level that can be done to help us,” said Sullivan.
Even if the city were to get the $7 million worth of funds tomorrow, the mayor says it would take at least two years to replace all the outdated piping.
Some of the city's lines have already been updated. Several years ago, the city received $1 million dollars through USDA to replace nearly five miles of old cast iron lines.