|Sewerage System Facts
|The sanitary sewerage system in New Orleans
is a gravity collection system, consisting of 1,600 miles of lateral
and trunk sewers, ranging in size from eight inches to seven feet
|Lifting and conveying the sewage (also called
wastewater or effluent) by trunk sewers and force mains requires
83 electrically operated pumping and lift stations. Seventy-nine
of those stations are automatically operated.
|Sewer stations "A" and "D"
on the East Bank and station "C" on the West Bank are
large, attended stations. These, along with all automatic stations,
transfer the total collected sewage from the entire city to two
|The S&WB system has two sewage treatment
plants, one on the East Bank and one in Algiers. The combined
treatment capacity of the two plants is 132 million gallons per
day. The plants are currently operated by U.S. Filter.
Both plants were built in the 1970s and have been upgraded, modernized
and expanded to increase capacity and to keep up with the growth
of the city. The plants discharge treated wastewater into the
|Sewer service rates in New Orleans are considered
to be among the most reasonable in the nation. The Sewerage Department
is funded only through the sewer fees charged on monthly bills
|Like other S&WB services, sewerage operations
run 24-hour a day, seven days a week. In addition to regular staff
on duty for three eight-hour shifts, emergency crews are on stand-by
to be called in if needed.
|Design of the sewerage system was begun in
1898 and construction of the early phases was completed in the
early 1900s. Through the years, the system has been expanded and
modernized. As the city grew geographically and EPA requirements
became more stringent, new construction added miles of underground
mains, new lift and pumping stations and larger and more efficient
|Continuous maintenance and repairs have been
carried out by the Board over the years, but the age of the system,
and the soil, weather and other conditions unique to this area
resulted in the need for an evaluation of the entire collection
system. The first several phases of the evaluation have led to
massive improvements and it's expected that future phases will
reveal the need for millions in repair work in each area of the
|The Sewer System Evaluation and Rehabilitation
Program (SSERP), underway since 1996, is part of the EPA Consent
Decree the Board signed in 1998. It focuses on the sanitary sewer
portion of the sewerage system which collects wastewater from
homes and businesses and transports it to the wastewater treatment
is a ten-year effort to study and repair the system throughout
the city. The approximate cost estimate for the improvements is
greater than $600 million.
To best carry out the plan to study and rehabilitate the sewerage
collection system areawide, the S&WB divided the city into
|The process in each basin is first testing. The results are
analyzed and construction is carried out to repair damaged manholes,
pipes, trunk lines and pumping stations. Testing in each district
includes flow monitoring, videotaping of lines, smoke tests and
dye tests to locate breaks, clogs and broken joints. Pumping stations
are being tested for efficiency and output.
|Modern techniques for repairs are being used wherever possible
to reduce the need for digging trenches in streets or sidewalks.
|The Board has already tested in Lakeview, the CBD/French Quarter/Warehouse
District, Gentilly, Uptown, Mid-City and the Lower Ninth Ward.
Repairs were completed in Lakeview last year and are underway
in the CBD/French Quarter/Warehouse District and Gentilly. Repairs
will begin in Uptown and Mid-City next year.
|Work on the sewerage treatment plants includes major repairs
to the headworks at the East Bank Treatment Plant, along with
replacement of the inflow channel. In Algiers, a complete expansion
of the plant is underway to greatly improve its efficiency, and
work has already been completed to double its capacity.
|The Board is proud of its record with the EPA Consent Decree,
as it has met every construction and reporting deadline outlined
in the decree and had no fines relative to construction or reporting
|The S&WB is coordinating its efforts with the City's Department
of Public Works streets repair and replacement program to minimize
inconveniences and to save money. Where possible, the S&WB
is employing state-of-the-art trenchless methods of sewer repair
which allows repairs without the need to dig up streets and yards.
SSERP is managed for the S&WB by MWH Consulting Engineers.
|One modernization project on line
now for six years is SCADA (supervisory
control and data acquisition), a sophisticated computer
system which provides online monitoring of the 83 sewer lift stations
and pumping stations located throughout the city. Each facility
is monitored for pressure, electrical power, mechanical functions,
flow and security.
|Sewer Pumping Station A, located behind the Municipal Auditorium,
houses the "heart and brain" of a state-of-the art $1.7
million monitoring system.
|Personnel on duty 24 hours a day at Station A monitor the functions
at all stations and crew can be quickly dispatched to a location
at the first indication of a malfunction.
|Depending on the eventual total
costs, funding for all the projects of SSERP will come from three
sources: Federal funds, via EPA Grants, S&WB matching funds,
and other S&WB operations and maintenance funds. The S&WB
has already received $38 million in Federal grants.
|The Board will continue to work
with the Mayor's Office, the City Council, the area's Congressional
delegation and the White House to obtain additional funds for
sewerage, but the Board must be able to provide local matching