An August meeting of the Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District (CBB) was the occasion for standing room only attendance by residents of the area around Black Bayou and Cypress Lakes. The issue was a proposed subdivision in the area and the subdivision developer’s consideration of a small, private sewer treatment plant that would drain effluent into one of the lakes.
Needless to say, residents were adamantly opposed to such a plan – as were CBB board members.
This issue isn’t yet resolved, but perhaps the Bossier Parish Police Jury’s work to construct a parish-wide utility district will make future residential and commercial development easier to plan and build.
BPPJ Administrator Bill Altimus explained the growing need for the $45 million project:
“The needs of development and the limiting factors to growth in Bossier Parish or any parish … is water and sewer – water and sewer infrastructure. If you don’t have water, decent water, then you’ll never have anyone living out there …they don’t have water – to drink, bathe, whatever. Sewer – you can have individual (i.e. septic or small systems), but that leads to two problems.”Altimus said the first problem is the lack of public sewer hinders commercial development, and pointed to the Highway 80 corridor as an example of that lack of development. “The second thing is at some point in time, DEQ or EPA or a combination of both is going to put the stops on construction in that you have a community system …” said Altimus.
Larry Landry, BPPJ Utilities Director, pointed to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s “TDML” (total daily maximum limit) standard, which is being enforced on all streams in the state.“They (DEQ) started south, working north and what they’re going to come to is these people who have these small systems on these small streams, they’re (DEQ) going to say, ‘You’re going to have to put in a system like this – in other words, you’re going to have to make that (wastewater) into almost drinking water before you can put it back in that stream,’” said Landry. Landry explained that such a process is cost prohibitive for most small operators, so the Parish is “… intercepting all (wastewater) that we can, and we’re going to take it to a location that’s better suited for that kind of discharge, which is the Red River. And we’re going to have a really nice plant that treats really, really well and doesn’t have any smell associated with it, and it’ll put water in the river that’s cleaner than the water that’s in the river right now.”
The sewer treatment plant will be built along the Red River in the Cash Point vicinity; plans for the facility are currently on the drawing board. The Jury has accumulated the funding for this $45 million project from several sources. State funding, in the form of $15.6 million in Facilities Planning and Control in capital outlay will pay for the plant. Another $17.75 million in state revolving funds from DEQ (at a .95 percent interest rate for 20 years), and $11.8 million in bonds rounds out the funding for this undertaking.Landry discussed how the project will take waste water from Haughton in east Bossier Parish to the treatment plant saying, “Right out here close to the cemetery (Hillcrest), we’ll have a large lift station. We’ll run at 20-inch line down Highway 80 to Stockwell Road, under I-220, all the way around and get over to Swan Lake Road. At Pete Modica Road, we’ll put in a second lift station … because we want to have another centralized place for others to come to us. Then from that point, we’ll go with a 24-inch line all the way out past the end of Pete Modica Road to what is going to be the east-west corridor – the extension of Winfield Road (and that’s been laid out in the road plan).”
“Then, we’ll follow that around and that will actually come across Airline on the south side of Wemple Road, which will continue on and miss that apartment complex – and go to Old Brownlee (Road) – then we’ll go north on Old Brownlee Road to Wemple Road. We’ll go down Wemple Road to Highway 3, thru Highway 3 to Cash Point, which is where the plant is going to be. This is all sewer – that’s about $45 million.”The Parish is also looking at include Kingston Road in the sewer planning.Landry said the project would be in three parts – the first being “… collection – to bring it all together and take everything away from these oxidation ponds and small mechanical plants … the next to get it all of that over to the plant site, we have this forced main system …” The last project involves a DEQ project along Old Palmetto Road.
Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org