Bickham Bayou permanent sewer line replacement on hold

Bickham Bayou permanent sewer line replacement on hold

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A sewer line break in a Shreveport bayou near Cross Lake has not been permanently fixed by the city due to negotiations acquiring a servitude from the adjacent property owner.

In the meantime, for more than a month now, neighbors who live near Bickham Bayou have had to get used to the noise of a generators used as a temporary fix.

"You hear it all the time, you think a car is running in your driveway," said neighbor Roger Carpenter.

Residents have also had to deal with the smell of sewage. The most recent issues with the sewer line began in December after the pipe ruptured spewing sewage into Bickham Bayou. City workers plugged each side of broken line to contain it and brought in water suction pumps.

Resident Steven Evanoff says since then, neighbors have seen two major changes.

"The smell for one thing and no fishing, the fish are gone." Evanoff said.

At the time of the rupture, KSLA News 12 was told the city's fix was temporary until a new line was supposed to be installed in January. At the beginning of 2016, workers did bring in a new pipe, giving neighbors like Brenda Nash hopes of a permanent solution.

"We were so excited thinking they were really getting it going," said Nash, but explained their enthusiasm was short lived. "Well they put the pipe together, as you see, and that is as far as its gone," said Nash.

For a whole month, the sewage line has sat, waiting to be buried.

"It is time for something to be done. This is too long," said Nash.

According Department of Water and Sewerage Director Barbara Featherston, due to the size and location of the new pipeline, city leaders had to acquire servitude from the adjacent property owner.

"We are finalizing those negotiations and as soon as we have the servitude work will start. We hope to have the servitude finalized within the next three weeks," she said in an email to KSLA News 12.

"Hopefully they get the pipe like they say, get everything fixed, get everything back to normal, hopefully," said Evanoff.

Featherstone predicts the project will take 3-4 weeks once the contractor moves on site.

In the aftermath of the line break, a DEQ spokesman investigated whether city leaders failed to immediately notify them of the situation, which is required when an emergency happens. We are told by a DEQ spokesman, the incident report has been turned over to their "enforcement division".

A decision has not been made as to the type of action that will be issued.

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