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Sewerage Overview
The Sewage collection and disposal system was non-existent. Human waste was disposed of in the open pit privy, while household wastes found their way into open gutters. Such unsanitary conditions gave rise to typhoid fever, yellow fever, cholera, and other diseases, which decimated the population at regular intervals.
The unusual New Orleans topography, which made area drainage so serious a problem, also made a similar plan necessary for sewage disposal. The sanitary sewer system of the city is a gravity collection system, consisting of 1,450 miles of lateral and trunk sewers, ranging in size from 8 inches to 7 feet in diameter. Lifting and conveying the sewage by trunk sewers and sewer force mains requires 82 electrically operated pumping and lift stations; 79 of these stations are automatically operated with no attendance other than periodic maintenance visits.

Sewer stations "A" and "D" on the East Bank and Station "C" on the West Bank are large, attended stations. These, as well as all automatic stations, transfer the total collected sewage from the entire city to the treatment plants.

Sewerage Treatment
Recognizing the need, as well as the national effort being made to reduce the pollution of our country's waterways, the Sewerage and Water Board has proceeded with a phased program for the treatment of all municipal sewage, both on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River.

In 1962, the Sewerage and Water Board reactivated and assumed the operation of a United States government-owned activated sludge plant to provide sewage treatment for the Michoud residential and industrial area east of the Industrial Canal. In 1965, the capacity of this plant was increased from one million gallons per day to 2.5 million gallons per day.

New ambient water quality standards led to the conversion of the Michoud plant to tertiary treatment. Closure of the facility was deemed to be more cost effective and the flows to the Michoud plant were re-routed to the East Bank Sewage Treatment Plant in 1992.

Westbank Sewage Treatment Plant
In 1973, the 10 million gallon-per-day West Bank Sewerage Treatment Plant came on-line. This facility serves the entire west bank community of New Orleans and was recently upgraded, in 2002, to double it's capacity.
East Bank Sewage Treatment Plant
In 1970, the Board began the design for conversion and expansion of it's East Bank Plant from 23 million gallons per day to complete treatment of 122 million gallons per day of the city's wastewater. State-of-the-art technology was selected for the treatment process, employing the high-purity oxygen modification of the activated sludge process.

Construction, begun in 1973, was completed in 1980, giving the Sewerage and Water Board the capacity for secondary treatment of 100 percent of the city's sewage.
Sewerage Rates
All residential and Public Housing Class quantity charges are applied to 85 percent of the metered consumption, allowing 15 percent of water use for lawn watering and other uses which contribute no flow to the sanitary sewer. Quantity charges for customers are based on 100% of metered private wells or non-Board sources and discharged to the sanitary sewer system will be metered and the consumption included in computing sewerage quantity charges. Any customer who proves only a portion of the metered water usage discharged to the sanitary sewer system is charged for only that portion of the total water quantity.