Rising water could hurt Bossier Parish homes

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Same villain, different victim.

Roughly two months after local developers and engineers met with the Bossier Parish Police Jury engineering staff to discuss solutions to rising ground water levels and the impact on subdivision streets, the two groups will soon meet again to talk about yet other water-related problems.

Parish Engineer Butch Ford requested the police jury’s roads/subdivision committee meet prior to the July 3 regular meeting to talk about ground water impact on sewer lines and, possibly, on foundations of subdivision homes. The area of concern is the basin between Red Chute Bayou/Flat River and the Red River from Benton to Bossier City.

Area engineers who design subdivisions in the area will be invited to discuss and help develop strategies to design foundations that will not be impacted by the rising ground water levels. Talk will also include methods to lay sewer lines that will not fail if ground water continues to rise.

“This area we’re talking about is roughly 40 percent of the parish,” Ford told jury members.

Ford said one solution could be to require soil borings on every subdivision before a building permit is issued. Sample results of the borings would be attached to each plat submitted along with the engineer’s stamp.

“Families are purchasing homes without construction or engineering knowledge and homebuilders are building standard foundations that we know can potentially be undermined by these water table issues,” said Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson. 

“It’s reasonable that we would require builders within this river basin to get us a soil sample and slab designs. This water table issue has developed very quickly,” he added.

Ford told jury members his office is currently not approving any subdivision plans, sewer lines or streets “…until we look at this and come up with plan. We have a responsibility to the public.”