St. John the Baptist Drainage Side Effect

St. John the Baptist parish is working on creating better drainage due to flooding issues. Lately flooding has been taking place with typical Louisiana rain storms as opposed to Hurricane weather, which is experienced constantly in the deep southern states. According to an article on sjbparish.gov, weather permitting, the drainage project should have a timeline of 4 to 6 months from start to finish (source). 

There is an issue, however, that is concerning quite a few residents. As heavy machinery withdraws dirt and debris from the canals the dirt is spilling into many backyards. The dirt is dumped on the ground behind multiple backyards, creating a mountain of mud that runs along the canals. Unfortunately, sometimes the mud has a rotten-like smell that can be nauseating to some at times.

Is creating better drainage a good thing? Yes. Is the side effect from the better drainage process causing concern for some residents in St. John the Baptist parish? Also, yes.

The concern for many residents is that they don’t know if this could create health issues for people and pets. What is in the water of the canals could be questionable. Example: Past article for Bayou St. John in New Orleans, LA. (ScienceDirect article).

Residents are already dealing with major health concerns from Denka, a chemical plant in LaPlace (Louisiana), with high emissions. St. John the Baptist parish has a scarlet letter due to this, except their scarlet letter is called cancer alley. “0.2 Will Not Do” has become a slogan by some in the fight against the emissions. Some residents have stated that they would rather be bought out by the various chemical plants in the parish so they can leave the parish as they feel it is at times a wasteland for chemical plants. 

It is confirmed by some residents that when debris is removed from canals it can take up to a month before they clean up the mess that was created. Gravity and nature could come into play with the removal of the canal dirt if it is allowed to sit there for too long. It could also be an issue for the landscaping of some backyards.

Notices were sent out regarding the work being done for better drainage. If you have a copy of your notice please share it on social media as a lot of people did not receive one. Sharing is caring!

Better drainage is a smart play by St. John the Baptist parish. The side effect from the process of creating better drainage was possibly not a smart play. What could have been done differently? Perhaps having trucks in place to load the overflow of debris and dirt from the canal would have been the smarter solution. Perhaps there are multiple solutions to avoiding the horrific mess altogether or maybe this was the best solution to the problem. Only those in charge can answer that question.

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