Aug 1, 2023 - News

Raw sewage flowing into Mississippi River after new leak found in New Orleans

Illustration of three droplets of water, with different emojis on them.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Raw sewage continues to flow into the Mississippi River after a new leak was found nearly a month after a sewer main broke in New Orleans.

Driving the news: The city's Sewerage & Water Board says Boh Bros. Construction workers were testing repairs last week when they found the leak.

  • They are digging down 8 to 9 feet to get to the pipe and then will have a "much better idea of the extent of the new failure and the repair timeline," said Grace Birch, a S&WB spokesperson.

Catch up quick: A 60-inch main broke on July 7 at the city's water station at 2800 Florida Ave.

  • In an emergency move, the city diverted wastewater into the river, a decision officials called "crucial" to avoid backups in homes.
  • The city said the pipe is more than 60 years old and cited its age as the cause of the break.
  • It was supposed to be fixed Friday after the timeline was extended from July 16.

Zoom out: The station with the broken pipe services Lakeview, Gentilly, Marigny, the Upper Ninth Ward and parts of Mid-City.

  • Leaders say they are communicating with downstream water utilities, many of which get their drinking water from the river.
  • The majority of the city's wastewater is still being treated at S&WB wastewater treatment plants, Birch says.
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