At long last Calcasieu Police Jurors are moving forward with a program to inspect mechanical home sewerage systems.
If you own a home sewerage system an inspector will be visiting you. Not today, not tomorrow but sometime within the next three years.
There are about 33,000 home sewerage systems in Calcasieu parish and parish officials estimate that about half of them don't work properly and therefore release inadequately treated waste into roadside ditches. The waste ultimately enters local rivers, bayous and lakes.
As jurors considered launching a program to inspect such systems they got an earful from one man who opposes the inspection program. Robert Hebert has property in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes. "I pay about eight, nine thousand dollars in taxes in Calcasieu Parish so I think I have a right to speak; How much is it going to cost the taxpayers and who does it benefit? Why don't we pick out the raw sewage in the ditches they claim is hurting everybody, go inspect those residences and get them in compliance before we run up and down the street inspecting sewer plants that don't need nothing done to them."
But jurors have been working on the problem for decades and have a mandate from federal and state government to stop the pollution. Jurors like Tony Stelly say they must take action. "This was handed down from Baton Rouge. This is not something we dreamed up in a midnight dream."
Juror Francis Andrepont expressed his frustration with opposition in, what jurors consider, the 11th hour. "We finally, after eight years, came to the conclusion that we had to do what we had to do because we were mandated to do so. I don't know how many meetings Mr. Hebert made, but if he'd been here he would have been addressed to present his concerns at that time. And I rest my case."
Getting the program up and running won't happen overnight-- but the ball is rolling. There's no official date when inspections will start.
For more information on the program and questions you may have click here.