Dial Dalfred – Heavy rains causing sewerage backup in Girard Park

Just across the street from the Girard Park Pond on the property of Jim Diaz.

Mr. Diaz and his neighbors say that after a downpour, you can’t stand in their backyards without at least knee high boots because of sewage backing up.

In fact, there’s still the smell of sewage and we haven’t had a significant amount of rain in this area in a little over a week.

“This is a hazard not only to our area of the community here but, a hazard to the park, a hazard to the university,” said Jim Diaz, a retired attorney who lives on Girard Park Circle.

The problem area is about 100 yards from University of Louisiana at Lafayette dorm rooms, and just across the street from the popular Girard Park.

Wendy Hornung and her husband Kirk say, “there’s actually affluent which is human poo, condoms, toilet paper, and tampons floating around on the corners of our yard.”

There’s a public easement between the Hornung property and the house next door.

Neighborhood kids and college students use it as a shortcut either to the park or campus.

“So they’re, in essence, walking through a stream-bed of sewage,” Kirk Hornung said.

Diaz says after trying to work with the city on multiple occasions but only getting band-aid solutions, he decided to file suit.

Terry Huval, director of Lafayette Utilities System, says they only became aware of the issue a couple months ago but residents have video evidence of sewage back-up dating back to November 2015.

Huval says, the terrain in the area is an issue, which places the manholes at different heights.

In effort to stop the overflow, the manholes were raised.

“It’s basically a technique that we can use to help let the sewer system itself try to manage keeping those flows in the sewer system versus spreading out on somebody’s lawn or in somebodies bathtub,” Huval explains.

Which is basically the lesser of two evils. Huval says LUS deals with sewage issues often and spend millions solving them.

He says the task is no simple one but they’re determined to keep looking for a solution.

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