U.S. Water News Online
GRETNA, La. -- A study is underway in Jefferson Parish to
determine whether treated wastewater could be used to replenish
ailing wetlands on the Mississippi River's West Bank.
The study, to be completed this year by Louisiana State University
scientists, will consider the feasibility and environmental soundness
of pumping water from West Jefferson's three sewage-treatment plants
into wetlands of the Barataria Basin, south of the West Bank
Hurricane Protection Levee now under construction.
The study adds Jefferson to a growing list of governments in the
nation and Louisiana, including Mandeville and Thibodaux, that are
studying or building similar systems as population growth and tougher
environmental requirements push sewage treatment costs up.
Parish officials said using treated wastewater on wetlands also
could help mitigate the parish's coastal erosion problems and reduce
the excessive amount of algae-feeding nutrients in the Mississippi
River, where Jefferson's treated water now is pumped.
``A lot of people are looking at this because of the cost as well
as the environmental benefits,'' said Marnie Winter, director of
environmental development and solid waste.
The parish will spend $100,000 as the local match to pay for the
$200,000 study. The Army Corps of Engineers is financing the rest.
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