Landrieu: 25% of the city’s catch basins need repairs

NEW ORLEANS - A full quarter of the city’s catch basins need repair work, and six percent of the overall number need attention immediately, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Landrieu gave the the catch basin update at a sometimes contentious Sewerage and Water Board meeting this morning.

“There are 60,000 catch basins in the city,” Landrieu said. “There are 15,000 that are challenged. Thirty-seven hundred of the ones that are challenged require more extensive work.”

The S&WB is coming up with a plan to address those issues, Landrieu said, but they aren’t the only ones who can chip in to help solve the problem of ineffective catch basins.

“Everybody can be helpful here,” he said. “Everybody knows if their catch basin is working or not working. Everybody can clean their catch basin out.”

Landrieu had some direct advice for those who have made it a habit to dump trash of all shapes and sizes in catch basins and drainage canals.

“If people stopped throwing in washing machines and trees and other things, that would be helpful too,” he said. “There’s a lot of debris in those canals, and the cleaner that we all can work on keeping them, the less will have to be cleaned up.”

Deferred maintenance is a huge issue with the drainage system in general and the catch basins and canals in particular, Landrieu said.

“What we’re going to try to ask the contractors to do is to identify what can be cleaned easily, and ask citizens for their help,” he said.

The more serious repairs will require contractors to go in and do the work, Landrieu said.