Heavy rains, aged pipes spark sewage problems - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Heavy rains, aged pipes spark sewage problems

Featured Videos

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Problems from the weekend rainfall continue to surface, but some problems aren't new. Sewage backup has long been a problem when too much rain falls too quickly.

Residents along Clarence Street in downtown Lake Charles have experienced sewage problems for years during heavy rainfall.

The water pressure in the underground sewer systems forces manhole covers off the ground, allowing rainwater and raw sewage to flow freely down the streets, eventually making its way into Lake Charles.

"Yes it needs to be fixed," said John Chavanne, who lives on Clarence. "Yes it's affecting property value. Yes it's affecting the way of life downtown. And it's unsanitary. Bottom line."

"This has been going on," said Judy Reeves. "This isn't just this rain, this is every rain I know for the last five or six years."

Chavanne says he's been living in the area for years, but only recently realized it was sewage and not just rainfall flowing down the roadways.

"I've seen people through crawfish shells and leaves and things down the storm drains and that usually comes bubbling back up once we get a whole lot of rain. I figured that's what that was. I didn't know it was sewage. I didn't know it was raw sewage."

Reeves is a science teacher and teaches her students the importance of not polluting. She said her first concern is the sewage entering the lake.

"I was a little upset that I knew that this water was draining straight into storm drains which is an unfiltered area," said Reeves. "Sewage usually goes through a sewage treatment plant and so it's cleaned and processed. Well, not on Clarence street."

Public works director Mister Edwards says his department is well aware of the problems and blames aged infrastructure for the leaks.

"70-80 years old. Think about it," said Edwards. "Some of these are the original lines from when the city was built. The originals. We have 70, 80, 50 year old lines all throughout the city."

During heavy rain falls, sand bags are placed on the manhole covers as well as barricades to warn drivers of the areas. It's a temporary fix, but Edwards says they're doing everything they can to deal with the problem long term. Their current solution is rehab."

"Rehab would be going in and inspecting these lines, find out where we have broken lines and trying to fix where we call point repair," said Edwards. "We have one point and we go in and fix that where water has been infiltrating into that sewer line. We've been doing that for years here in the city. Edwards says Clarence Street isn't the only place residents see sand bags and barricades during heavy rains."

He says the city has 10-15 locations where manhole covers are forced off due to the water pressure.

Edwards also says a lot of the problems stem tree roots growing into the pipes and also from residents removing the caps from their own sewer systems to drain their yards.

He reminds residents that this is against city ordinance and a contribution to the sewage back up problem.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Local veteran hopeful about new medical marijuana pharmacy in SWLA

    Local veteran hopeful about new medical marijuana pharmacy in SWLA

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-04-20 03:27:35 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    Lake Charles is getting its first medical marijuana pharmacy.  One local veteran is hopeful this could be the start to improving his health and that of other veterans, but right now there's a catch.  Under Louisiana law those with certain serious conditions can get a prescription for medical marijuana, but veteran Tony Landry has been monitoring a proposed bill that could add post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the list.  Nine medical marijuana license...

    More >>

    Lake Charles is getting its first medical marijuana pharmacy.  One local veteran is hopeful this could be the start to improving his health and that of other veterans, but right now there's a catch.  Under Louisiana law those with certain serious conditions can get a prescription for medical marijuana, but veteran Tony Landry has been monitoring a proposed bill that could add post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the list.  Nine medical marijuana license...

    More >>
  • SEED Center Business Pitch competition winners announced

    SEED Center Business Pitch competition winners announced

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:10 PM EDT2018-04-20 03:10:32 GMT
    Business pitch competition set for Thursday, April 19. (Source: SEED Center)Business pitch competition set for Thursday, April 19. (Source: SEED Center)

    Life could change for some aspiring entrepreneurs Thursday, April 19, at the SEED Center's Business Pitch Competition. This is the sixth year for the competition which is "meant to raise awareness for the SEED Center Business Incubator and increase entrepreneurship in the area." The event is open to residents in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes, and to those looking to start a business in Southwest Louisiana. Competitors wi...

    More >>

    Life could change for some aspiring entrepreneurs Thursday, April 19, at the SEED Center's Business Pitch Competition. This is the sixth year for the competition which is "meant to raise awareness for the SEED Center Business Incubator and increase entrepreneurship in the area." The event is open to residents in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes, and to those looking to start a business in Southwest Louisiana. Competitors wi...

    More >>
  • Debate on move to end non-unanimous juries in Louisiana

    Debate on move to end non-unanimous juries in Louisiana

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:49 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:49:12 GMT

    The future of how felony cases are handled could be in the hands of voters soon. The state Senate recently passed a bill that would end non-unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Currently, only Louisiana and Oregon allow people charged with felonies to be convicted when only 10 out of 12 jurors agree. However, the state of Oregon does require an unanimous vote from the jury in murder trials. Senate Bill 243 is sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans. Prosecutors, like Ca...

    More >>

    The future of how felony cases are handled could be in the hands of voters soon. The state Senate recently passed a bill that would end non-unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases. Currently, only Louisiana and Oregon allow people charged with felonies to be convicted when only 10 out of 12 jurors agree. However, the state of Oregon does require an unanimous vote from the jury in murder trials. Senate Bill 243 is sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans. Prosecutors, like Ca...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly