Residents who live within the Coulee Baton Micro Watershed in Vermilion Parish got the chance to see how they can upgrade or replace their home septic systems during a special tour and presentation on Saturday.
Through a grant from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, residents in that area can take part in a 60-40 cost-share program. An average septic system costs about $3,000, said Mitzi Dohrman, secretary of the Vermilion Soil and Water Conservation District.
"It's not just replacement," Dohrman said. "If you have a good enough system but there's only one or two problems, we can repair that."
The watershed's northern boundary is just north of Mire Road. It then extends east to just past La. 697 and Romules Road, south along Hubert Road and then along La. 14 to the south. The western boundary is near Cheneau Road and stops just before reaching La. 35 near Kaplan.
The project uses three different effluent reducing systems approved by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Such systems are designed to provide secondary treatment and enhance the absorption of treated wastewater.
The spray irrigation system uses a secondary tank and pump to send water to at least three sprinklers, which can then be used to water lawns. The rock plant filter system allows treated water to drain to a pipe and flow through a rock bed. Plants in the rocks can then take up the water and reduce drainage into adjacent waterways.
The third system is an effluent reduction field line, in which treated water drains into a pipe within a gravel trench. The gravel ultimately reduces drainage into ditches and waterways.
Scott Edwards, coordinator with the Acadiana Resource Conservation and Development Council, said the three systems are particularly useful in Vermilion Parish, where about 99 percent of the soil has severe wetness and usually drains slowly.