By JIM BUTLER
Parish Sewerage District No. 1 is whistling past the graveyard with an overworked and outdated wastewater treatment plant serving Deerfield subdivision in Alexandria.
To change that the district seeks to construct a new concrete extended aeration treatment unit of the same approximate size as the existing plant, which has served the neighborhood off Horseshoe Drive for more than 40 years.
According to plans, the proposed plant will be constructed on the same site as the existing treatment plant and will utilize the same outfall.
Once construction is complete, the existing plant will be abandoned and demolished.
According to the state Dept. of Environmental Quality, if no action is taken the district risks a catastrophic failure occurring at the existing plant on a tract bordered by Dixie Lane and Deerfield Drive.
All work will be within the current footprint of the plant site or within existing right-of-way.
No new right-of-way or land acquisition will be required.
There are no known environmentally sensitive areas and no Environmental Justice concerns associated with this project and a Categorical Exclusion has been issued by DEQ for it.
That means the project does not, in DEQ’s judgment, have a significant effect on the human environment, so neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is normally required.
The use of categorical exclusions can reduce paperwork and save time and resources in project implementation.
The multi-million dollar project will be funded in part through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program administered by DEQ.