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Industrial companies brace for rate increases - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Industrial companies brace for rate increases

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SHREVEPORT, La -

Soon you'll open up your water bill and see the new rate increase to address our out of date water and sewer system. Some residential customers are bracing themselves for sticker shock, but there are companies in our area who may bear the biggest burden of cost.  

"It's painful. It's going to hurt us to 6 figures," said Rich Descoteaux, the Plant Manager Ternium. The Shreveport steel plant is the 8th top water user in the area. Descoteaux says, he and other industries in the city are expecting to take a big hit behind the water and sewer rate increase. "I in fact pay double the rate of what a Shreveport citizen pays for water and sewer because we're technically not in the city limits, we're in the Port."

To meet federal environmental-related demands to repair the city's aging sewer system, the city recently implemented rate increases of 55% for sewer and only 13% for water. So although industrial users will pay more, like everyone else, city officials have not and do not expect to hear about any major impact to operations that could shut down or scare new industries away. Shreveport's Water and Sewer Department Director, Barbara Featherston says, the city has been working with the Northwest Louisiana Economic Partnership to inform current and prospective industries. "We're working with them to kind of come up with a fact sheet for existing and potentially new industries looking to come to the area, comparing our rates to the rates of other cities that they might be looking at."

But Ternium and other companies will have to deal with the rate increases, and find a way to do business, despite them. "It's my job and all the other plant manager's job to cut costs somewhere else, and also do our job to conserve. Conservation is the biggest piece and we've already identified significant areas for conservation for our facility that will offset impact," Descoteaux said.
And as for that gray water pipeline that was supposed to deliver industrial-grade water -- rather than water purified for drinking -- for companies at the Port of Caddo-Bossier to use, DesCoteaux says they can't use it. "The water quality is not good, so we can't use it in our process. It can't touch anything that we make."

Until there's a better plan to use the gray water pipeline industrial customers are going to have to find a Plan B. "I put about 5 million gallons a month into the sewer, that I treat here and we're going to change how we do that. We're going to reuse our own water and not give the city any water. There's just no way around it, these pipes are from the 50's or 60's. They're old, they're crumbling. Everybody in the city's seen it. We complain about the roads and everything else until it's time to ask for the money to fix it."


Here's a look at the top five water consumers in the city.

Calumet
Pratt
Barksdale AFB
The Haven Subdivision
Chemtrade

We also want to note that Barksdale only uses city water - not sewer. 
So the base won't have to pay the additional 55% increase because they use Bossier's sewer system.

 

 

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