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|Resolution discourages effluent discharge|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury passed a resolution Monday to regulate the discharge of effluent into Bayou DeSiard and Black Bayou Lake.
The parish's legal staff may later draft an ordinance to make the policy a parish law.
Bayou DeSiard serves as a source of potable water for the city of Monroe and other water systems in eastern Ouachita Parish. Black Bayou Lake serves as a backup water supply for Bayou DeSiard.
The new policy states that no individual sewage treatment and disposal system shall be allowed to discharge effluent directly into Bayou DeSiard or Black Bayou Lake.
Also, no community sewage treatment facility shall be allowed to discharge effluent either directly or indirectly into Bayou DeSiard, Black Bayou Lake or any tributary.
Parish engineer Don Harrison said the policy was presented to the police jury in response to several developers who recently inquired about discharging sewer into Bayou DeSiard.
"That's what precipitated this as a policy action to formally take a position as far as eliminating that direct discharge into the bayou," Harrison said.
He said over the past eight months, several developments plans were submitted to the police jury, which included sewer systems that proposed to discharge into Bayou DeSiard.
"Up until recently, we have had a policy whereby we would not approve the discharge directly into Bayou DeSiard from an individual sewer system," Harrison said. "There have been some others who have approached us involving much larger developments wanting permission to put in sewer treatment plants that would discharge down Black Bayou Lake and into Bayou DeSiard."
"That really doesn't seem to be a wise environmental policy because you would be allowing discharge from a sewer plant into your drinking water source," he added.
Harrison said the police jury must continue to work with Greater Ouachita Water Co. to develop a long-range plan that takes advantage of Greater Ouachita's regional sewer treatment facilities.
"By working with them, it helps us strategically place lift stations that are accessible to developers," Harrison said.