It is also responsible for maintenance and operation of the City's storm water pump stations. The City of Monroe has about two hundred and forty miles of underground sewer main lines, seventy three lift stations and eighteen storm water stations.
There are three separate divisions of the Wastewater Collections Division which include pump station maintenance, sewer line stoppage support, and sewer line construction.
Pump Station Maintenance: The City of Monroe operates seventy three wastewater lift stations located throughout the city. These lift stations are operated by a staff of highly trained operators. The purpose of lift stations is to raise wastewater from lower elevations to higher elevations to allow for gravity flow to the wastewater treatment plant.
Construction: The construction division consists of two crews that provide the citizens of Monroe with sanitary sewer service by maintaining and repairing existing underground pipe structures. Construction crews also extend sewer main lines, and install clean outs and install sewer taps.
Stoppage: The stoppage division operates four vacuum wash trucks. Wash trucks use high pressure water hoses to provide relief to customers when the connection to City main lines is obstructed. Stoppage personnel are on duty twenty two per day, Monday through Sunday. In addition, these crews wash and clean main lines daily to prevent future problems.
Occasionally there is a problem in the waste water system which results in a spill known as a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO.) Part of the Stoppage crew's job is to see that all SSOs are cleaned up, disinfected, documented and reported to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ.)
Sanitary service line repair and backups can be very difficult problems to manage. The first thing that needs to be addressed when you as a homeowner experience sewer problems is: Who is responsible? Many homeowners are not aware that they are responsible for the sanitary sewer service line from their house to the City's main sewer, which is usually located under the center of the city street. What this means is any cleaning or repairs that need to be done to the service line are the homeowner's responsibility.
If you experience a sewer backup, the Wastewater Collection Division will provide assistance to you and/or your plumber to verify that the sewer main line located under the street is not obstructed.
Storm water, which includes runoff from streets and property, goes through the storm water collection system, composed primarily of canals, ditches and pipes, and gravity flows or is pumped into local waterways such as Young's Bayou, Bayou Desiard and the Ouachita River.
The City of Monroe operates eighteen storm water pump stations. There are six primary storm water stations which operate during any moderate to major rain. Eleven stations are only placed into operation when the Ouachita River is at high levels. Operation of the remaining station is dependent on water levels in Young's Bayou.
All pumps at the primary storm water stations operate in automatic mode. This means that no action is required by city employees to turn them on. The same automatic operation holds true for pumps for the other twelve storm water stations but only after they have been enabled which only occurs during times of high water in the Ouachita River and Young's Bayou.
The public can help prevent storm water pump failures by keeping their property and ditches clear of all debris that could be carried through the storm water collection system to the pump stations. Debris such as yard trash, firewood and miscellaneous household items can get caught in the pumps is the leading cause of pump failure.
The City of Monroe owns and operates a municipal wastewater treatment plant which treats all wastewater generated from residential, commercial and industrial entities in the City of Monroe. In addition, the plant treats wastewater from outside entities such as the Town of Richwood and some nearby subdivisions.
Treatment of wastewater is accomplished through the use of a modern mechanical plant that is operated by highly trained operators that are on duty 24 hours per day, seven days per week. A laboratory is in place on site to perform compliance tests as required by the DEQ and EPA. The wastewater plant has the capacity to treat a maximum of 31 million gallons per day (MGD) of domestic-strength waste water.
The treated water from the plant that's discharged continuously into the Ouachita River is closely monitored as required by the DEQ and EPA. Byproducts of the treatment process, primarily grit and bio-solids are transported to a local landfill for final disposal. The plant operates in accordance with LPDES permit number LA0038741.