BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Parish leaders hope a nearly completed $55 million sewage plant will be the answer to the outdated ways of treating waste in the rural areas of the parish.
The project is 10 years in the making and is expected to bring a lot of growth to the North Bossier and Red Chute areas.
As a result of the project, over the past few weeks, people passing through North Bossier have noticed green pipes known as "force mains" lying on the ground and some have come up with their own theories as to what they are.
"I was just assuming roadwork or ditch work," said Terri Weeks, who was driving through the parish toward West Monroe.
"I thought it was a slide, a huge slide," said Catherine Smalling about the pipes.
The pipes sit in front of store owner Arnold Young's business, "We didn't know what they were," said Young, laughing.
However, the pipes are actually sewer lines that will eventually flow sewage from the rural parts of the parish to a nearly complete $55 million sewer plant with the latest sewage treating technology.
The plant will specifically benefit not only the North Bossier area, but also the Red Chute area of Bossier Parish along Highway 80. Currently, where you see development in that area, you'll likely find individually owned sewerage plants and oxidation ponds.
As a result of a lack of community sewage line available, all developers and businesses must provide their own means of treating and disposing of waste. 33 of those plants exist along Highway 80, one even in front of an elementary.
In North Bossier, because the area is newer, there are fewer oxidation ponds and more individually owned smaller sewerage plants.
Director of Public Utilities Larry Landry says the sewer plant is the parish's environmentally friendly solution to getting rid of the outdated or expensive ways of treating sewage that's currently released into small streams.
"These processes are really good compared to what we had 30 years ago," said Landry, who explained the plant is about 95 percent complete. The high levels of the Red River has delayed finishing one component of the plant.
As soon as all of the sewer lines are hooked up and ready to go, growth is expected to explode in both North Bossier and also the Haughton-Red Chute areas.
"Developers always have two problems before they start developing, they need a water supply and they need a way to get rid of the sewage," said Landry.
Once the plant is finished, they will have both and several developers have been buying up land and waiting to build until they can hook into the parish sewage system.
The plant is expected to be open at the beginning of 2016. It will serve about 4,500 customers along Highway 80 and 1,000 customers in North Bossier Parish. The Highway 80 area will hook into the new sewer system in early 2016 and the North Bossier area is expected to join the system by the summer of next year.
The total cost of the project was initially $45 million, but that only included the Red Chute area. Once North Bossier was added in, the price rose to $55 million. Funding is a split of state funds from the capital outlay program, a low interest DEQ loan and a parish loan.