The expansion of the 50 year old South Waste Water Treatment Plant, which is among the most expensive single infrastructure projects in East Baton Rouge Parish history, is fully operational after more than four years of construction.

The sewer plant expansion, located on Gardere Lane, cost about $250 million and is one of the most significant components of the massive $1. 5 billion federally mandated parish-wide sewer overhaul program.

The expansion increases sewer capacity from 120 million gallons to 205 million gallons per day,

The improvements at the massive sewer plant will allow for the Central Waste Water Treatment Plant, off River Road, to eventually be closed, leaving the south plant and the North Baton Rouge Waste Water Treatment Plant located near Southern University.

“This is a major milestone for the City-Parish in our commitment to the citizens of Baton Rouge, to improve quality of life and environmental responsibility,” said Chief of Wastewater Operations and Maintenance Amy Schulze in a statement.”The staff of the DPW-Wastewater Treatment Operations and Maintenance Division worked tirelessly together to successfully start-up the SWWTP’s new treatment operations. We are grateful to our employees for their efforts and to the public for their continued patience as we move towards this vitally important Program’s completion.”

Construction began in 2009 and plant operations were fully functional by January 12.

City-parish officials say the plant is running smoothly.