Sewer System Evaluation And Rehabilitation
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has undertaken a multi-year program, the Sewer System Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program (SSERP), to identify and address structural and mechanical deficiencies in the wastewater collection system and to ensure that the system has adequate capacity. These improvements, currently estimated to cost $499.1 million over a ten year period, are required to comply with Section XV-Clean Water Act Remedial Measures: Comprehensive Collection System Remedial Program of the Consent Decree between the S&WB and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Consent Decree was signed in June 1998.
Between 1998 and 2002, two sewer rate increases were approved to fund these improvements. The rate increases were necessary to meet Consent Decree requirements. Both the Board and City Council have worked hard to minimize the impact on customers but additional rate increases will be needed to continue the program on schedule. Failure to meet required milestones for rehabilitation can result in severe financial penalties being imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
More information on the SSERP project, including the current status, can be found at the GoSSERP website. Montgomery Watson Harza maintains the GoSSERP website as the Program Manager of the sewer rehabilitation program.