HARVEY, La. -- Residents of a Harvey subdivision are proud of their neighborhood, but not proud of a large machine pumping sewage that sits in the middle of the block. Hoses feed into and out of open sewers.
'Terrible,' sniffed neighbor Olivia Keller. 'The odor is ridiculous, and I live there, and I back out and go that way, and the odor is just terrible.'
'It's a mess. We have to deal with the smell,' said angry neighbor James Pace. 'They don't come out right away to put the deodorizer down. We're worried about our property value being lowered. The ground's sunk, our plants died, and the response over the years has just been bad, really bad.'
The pump runs every few minutes, day and night, and it has been sitting here since Tropical Storm Lee last September.
But neighbors say it has been a frequent visitor to the neighborhood for years.
'At least three times out of the year, three months out of the year, it's here,' said neighbor Pat Jones, who added that it's been going on for about 20 years.
'The aging infrastructure,' explained Jefferson Sewage Director Linda Daly. 'The pumps and the equipment in this station is probably close to thirty years old.'
I contacted Jefferson Parish officials about this a couple of weeks ago. Sewage Director Linda Daly said that's when she first heard about the situation, and that she never would have let something like this sit in a neighborhood for this long.
So when I asked parish to take care of this as quickly as possible, she was ready to respond.
A large repair crew arrived in the neighborhood, pulling out all the underground equipment at the site, and explaining why the temporary pump became a semi-permanent resident here.
'Tropical Storm Lee, both of the pumps there, 30-year-old pumps, burned up,' said Daly.
So when the $125,000 replacement job is complete in a couple of weeks, all the underground problems will be corrected.
'They'll have brand new pumps, brand new valves, brand new piping, brand new control panel, all new electrical equipment to run it,' Dalys. 'It should be good. ... The temporary pump is gone.'
'Oh hooray,' said Pace with a pleased laugh.
'And I'm glad, very glad, happy, happy, happy, very glad,' Jones said, smiling.