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A common sight in unincorporated Ascension Parish, a white discharge pipe, left, for an individual sewer treatment system empties into a drainage ditch along KC Road north of Gonzales in 2019.

You may not care much about where your wastewater goes once it’s flushed down your drain. But since 1994, that’s what my family and I have cared about most. I started out started with a pickup truck and a shovel and we have grown our family business to serving over 15,000 customers today — providing high-quality, environmentally compliant services, all while maintaining our roots here in Ascension Parish.

But the reality is, our parish still has sewage issues. And for too long, we’ve put band-aids on serious wounds — creating a mess too costly and complex for our parish to fix alone. What’s worse, this mess is polluting our ditches, bayous and waterways.

Ascension Sewer is advancing our plan to comprehensively upgrade the parish’s failing sewer infrastructure. Our leaders have a crucial decision to make very soon of whether to join with us to address these issues. In addition to the millions we will invest to build a modern consolidated sewer system that will create hundreds of jobs, we propose to make a $15 million payment to the parish. Our plan also frees up $11 million from the parish sewer fund and another $2.5 million that the parish has budgeted to fix the treatment system at Oak Grove School. Parish taxes will no longer have to be used to subsidize parish sewer, which frees up another $3 million every year for other infrastructure needs, such as roads and drainage.

Our plan will also remove millions of gallons per day of treated sewer from Bayou Manchac and will decommission numerous neighborhood and school treatment plants, returning those locations to valuable community greenspace. By reducing the amount of water in the ditches, flooding will be reduced, and maintenance costs to continuously clean out drainage ditches will be significantly reduced. Our schools and libraries will have reduced installation, maintenance, and operating costs. Finally, all customers will pay the same fees set under Louisiana Public Service Commission rules that ensure fair and affordable rates for all customers.

Our parish doesn’t have the funds to build or finance a new consolidated system of this scale on its own. Ascension Sewer has presented a fully developed plan that is a win for everyone, with the resources to make a positive impact today.

I care about this parish. I know you care about our parish; our residents are some of our state’s proudest and most ambitious. I know our parish leadership cares; they’re making difficult choices every day in the best interest of our residents. But this choice is easy: work with Ascension Sewer to make an investment in your infrastructure and our community.

TOM PERTUIT

founder and CEO

National Water Infrastructure Inc.

Ascension looks to value sewer assets for possible sale to Bernhard partnership