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Parish sewer system continues expansion of service

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Parish wastewater line being laid in east Bossier Parish. (Courtesy of the Bossier Parish Police Jury)

The long awaited parish-wide sewer system kicked off last summer and is steadily expanding to incorporate more residents.

The wastewater treatment plant kicked off on July 6 and has steadily tied in systems off Hwy. 80, including Dogwood South, Pine Hill Mobile Home Park, East Highlands, Country Place, Tall Timbers, Forest Hills, Marywoods and South Marrywoods, the Calumet factory, and Princeton Elementary school.

“A week doesn’t go by without receiving a call about someone wanting to tie into the system,” said Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford.

Contractors are currently laying line in north Bossier Parish that will go up LA Hwy. 3 to Airline and Linton Road. The parish will then own all systems in the northern portion of Bossier, complete with a new lift station. Ford said that by the end of the year, the Kingston area will be added.

“Things are really coming together to provide public sewage system to all properties built in north and east Bossier.”

That project, which costs $5 million, is 75 to 80 percent complete as of mid-December.

Things have gone so well that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has let the police jury know there is another $10M available to borrow to expand the service north and further east.

The jury has sent in a pre-application, but they are holding off going after the money until they complete their current projects and have customers on board, providing revenue. Ford expects the current projects to wrap up in early 2017.

Then they plan to exercise their option agreement with Eagle Water to purchase their systems.

“We want to purchase those systems and all those lines and then tie them in to our plant. That would be our next phase, but we have to get DEQ dollars to do it,” Ford revealed.

More than a decade ago, Bossier Parish leaders took a huge proactive step to construct a $55 million sewer system, complete with a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, and no only bring in any future systems, but incorporate existing systems.

Now, the parish’s effort to clean up the parish by not having wastewater dumped into streams has not only appeased the DEQ, it makes development along the U.S. Hwy. 80 corridor a real possibility.

“I started on this 12 years ago. We looked at how to enhance the growth along Highway 80 and in Haughton. The main issues were oxidation ponds and small, old plants there that were contaminating the environment,” Ford explained.

He said credit was due to Bossier’s state delegation for securing the $15M capital outlay funds for the plant and the staff at DEQ.

“We told them what we wanted to do and they looked at us kind of funny because I don’t think any other parish has accomplished what we’ve accomplished — other parishes do this and only take on new customers and we were able to go out and buy all these lines in the ground and take them over,” Ford explained.

“I think this going to have a bigger impact on Bossier than anything we’ve ever done.”