Sewer line maneuver putting a stink in neighborhood plan
DENHAM SPRINGS - A new subdivision wants to route its sewer through a neighborhood that's been around for years. The parish says it's the only way.
About 35 years ago, Larry Falke started developing a neighborhood. His home was built first, on 50 acres of land. That neighborhood now consists of about 30 homes along Priscilla Lane and Melinda Lane in Denham Springs. All of the homes are self-sustainable.
"The only thing we have coming in is electricity," he said.
Falke and his neighbors get water from a well and use mo-dads for wastewater.
Recently, some land was cleared in the back of the neighborhood to make room for a new subdivision. That new development wants to route its sewer line through Falke's neighborhood.
Hidden Lakes Estates will soon be 300 households. Livingston Parish says running a line through Melinda Lane and Priscilla Lane to a manhole on Pete's Highway is the only option. There is no option near the neighborhood's entrance off Joe May Road.
"They're going to shoot it under my driveway," said Falke.
The job has already started. The pipe has already been put into the ground along Garney Hood Road, off Pete's Highway. It was approved by the Parish Council on March 8, 2018, which granted authorization for Hidden Lakes Estates, LLC to place sanitary sewer facilities in the public right of way.
Falke and some of his neighbors are not on board with the plan and are concerned about pressure sewage flowing underground in front of their homes.
"They neglected to come back here and tell us anything about it," he said.
In 2009, residents along Priscilla Lane and Melinda Lane were asked to sign a document from Denham Springs Sewerage District No. 1 that would include them in sewer servitude and sewer service connection. The document says District No. 1 had plans to construct several miles of sanitary sewer lines to collect all existing sewerage discharge and requested a 15-foot servitude to do so.
Livingston Parish Public Works Director Sam Digirolamo says that project never got to Falke's neighborhood because it ran out of funding. Now, some residents think they're being passed over, for a new subdivision.
"All of us would like to see it come back here, for us," said Falke. "They don't care about us or what our feelings are at all."
Residents living along Priscilla Lane and Melinda Lane will be unable to tie into the Hidden Lakes Estates system because it's a pressure sewage system and could create back-ups in the line.
Falke and a number of other neighbors plan to fight the sewer line before it reaches them. The parish is looking into what could be done to make improvements with everyone in mind.