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BATON ROUGE – The Department of Public Works’ SSO Program is taking an active approach in dealing with overflowing sewers.

Crews with the Department of Environmental Services are installing sewer overflow alarms and tracking systems in about 20 manholes around the parish.  These systems could help make flooding a thing of the past, especially in some problem areas that have a history of flooding.

“I think that it makes us proactive, rather than reactive,” said Director of Environmental Services Karen Khonsari. “It gives us an opportunity to go back and analyze our operations and maybe trim back some pumps upstream.”

The system has already been installed in a manhole at Cedardale and S. Lakeshore across from University Lake. It’s an area where neighbors have complained about overflow problems for years.

In July, DPW said it was fixed by easing the pressure up stream. The new sensors will continue to monitor the area and alert the city of any problems during future rain events.

“[The sensors] gives them an advanced warning,” said Mission Communications Sales Manager Matt Crousillac. “From there, they can actually turn pumps off in certain locations and turn other pumps on and shift the water to other parts of the city rather than overflowing into the lake.”

When there is significant surcharge or overflow in the sewer, sensors send alerts to maintenance response staff so action can be taken.

Below is a map of locations where these sewer systems will be installed. Khonsari said the project should be completed by the end of September. The $1.6 billion sewer system is expected to be complete in 2018.

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