LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – After the water in the Coulee Des Poches turned black, Lafayette residents raise concerns of sewage being dumped into the coulee. This leads them to wonder who is in charge of managing these types of issues.
News 10 spoke to a resident, Paul Broussard, about the issues his neighborhood has experienced with the coulee.
Broussard said, “We used to walk in this coulee, just being a good ole Cajun boy I liked walking in it with my friends. Until just recently someone started dumping sewage into the coulee. That started the long process of me calling multiple government agencies, the DEQ, the bayou vermillion district, all that.”
Broussard contacted the city when the water was turning black. He noticed it was turning black specifically in times before rain would hit the area.
“Weirdly enough it seems like someone is doing this right before it rains. So the water will be clear and then right before it rains, big ole dump into the coulee. It goes black, all the fish die, and everything like that,” he said.
Broussard also told News 10 that representatives of the city have visited the coulee to inspect the issues, but not much progress is being made.
“Someone from the DEQ came out multiple multiple times, took tests, confirmed there is off the charts amounts of sewage in the coulee, and at the end of the process says we kind of know where it’s coming from but can’t do anything further. I think that’s no good, ya know.”
News 10 contacted the environmental quality manager in Lafayette, Bess Foret, to hear her response. She said the city will be inspecting septic systems in the neighborhood to see which one is discharging the wastewater.
Bess Foret stated, “We did not have any record of this situation happening over the past year. When I got in this morning two inspectors immediately went out. We are working on the next stages of our inspection process, we will be going out there and talking with the property owners about: have they had their systems checked and getting those systems where they need to be so they’re not discharging what appears to be untreated wastewater.”