The Wastewater Division operates three major wastewater treatment plants. Plant A is located on West Railroad Ave. and has a treatment capacity of 6.7 MGD. Plant B/C is located on West 18th St. and has a treatment capacity of 6.2 MGD. Plant D is located on Tank Farm Rd. and has a treatment capacity of 4.95 MGD.
The Wastewater Division also maintains and operates four package plants servicing recently incorporated areas of the City of Lake Charles.
Also, this division maintains approximately 600 miles of sewer collection lines throughout the City, along with 130 lift stations with associated pumping equipment and controls.
Departments within the Wastewater Division include: Operations, Maintenance, Collection, Laboratory and Pre-Treatment.
Sewer Problems: Any sewer problems should be reported to the Wastewater Division by calling (337) 491-1224. This line is in service 24 hours a day to serve our customers in a timely manner. Approximately 5,000 calls per year are answered and responded to.
Operations: Operators work around the clock at Plants A, B/C and D to perform the tasks necessary to maintain the plants at peak operational performance. These operators are required to obtain a high level of certification from the Department of Health and Hospitals to demonstrate competence in operating the facilities. Years of training and education are involved in producing competent operators.
Maintenance: This department consists of mechanics and electricians who are responsible for maintenance of plant and lift station pumps, motors, equipment and communication systems operated by the Division. Personnel in this department are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure uninterrupted service to the community.
Collection: Personnel within this department are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the many miles of sewer lines within the City. They also operate rod and vacuum trucks used to remove stoppages within the system.
Laboratory: This division maintains an accredited laboratory to perform tests on effluent waters in order to ensure that they meet the discharge quality requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality. The laboratory is also required to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports to the governing agencies as required. Records of all analyses and results are maintained for a period of five years. The laboratory is also an important part of plant operations. Parameters which are critical to plant operation are run on a routine basis to provide operators with information needed to make adjustments to maintain effective treatment.
Pre-Treatment: The purpose of the Pre-Treatment Program is to protect our sanitary wastewater collection system, the wastewater plants, the health and safety of the maintenance personnel, the public and the environment.
Pre-treatment must ensure that all industrial discharges within the city limits meet acceptable standards for the Pre-Treatment Program. Pre-treatment inspects each treatment process or facility at any industrial site that discharges potentially toxic or hazardous wastewaters into sanitary sewers. Representative samples are required to be collected from the effluent of these treatment processes. Information collected during inspections and sampling activities is usually the basis for assessing compliance. The results are also used for enforcement actions taken against industrial users in violation of pre-treatment standards and requirements.
A specific Enforcement Response Plan, that includes several methods of enforcement, is implemented by Pre-treatment to encourage non-compliant companies to meet the permit requirements. Any violation of the pre-treatment specifications (effluent discharge limits, sampling, analysis, reporting and meeting compliance schedules and regulatory deadlines) is an instance of noncompliance for which the industrial user is liable for enforcement, including penalties.
Small volume/quantity dischargers such as food services, photoprocessers, auto repair facilities, dry cleaners, etc. have potential for violating pre-treatment standards or requirements. Collectively these facilities have a significant impact on the total contribution of pollutants discharged to our sewer system.
The current Pre-Treatment Program for the City Code of Ordinance includes Pollution Prevention; Best Management Practices (BMP) for small volume/quantity users and the permitting of grease trap waste transporters. The BMP program enables Pre-treatment to cover a vast amount of small volume/quantity dischargers.
Pre-treatment is also responsible for identifying sources of un-permitted industrial discharge into the municipal sewer system.