Zach Salter

SHREVEPORT, La. - A sewage breach in Shreveport has been fixed, but this weekend it was a stinky situation. The breach was just south of the intersection of Louisiana Highway 1 and Flournoy-Lucas Road.

On Saturday, there was a report of a pipe bursting causing waste to flow into the Sand Beach Bayou. What's noteworthy is a 12-year-old boy discovered the problem.

"Pretty cool though that I saved most of the fish probably in there, and all the wildlife" says Zach Salter.

It was a simple fishing trip, at least that's what Zach thought. He says when he was fishing he decided to go a little farther down the bayou, and that's when he started to smell something unusual.

"I come up on a huge hole really almost drove into, and I saw stuff just coming up out of it. I saw toilet paper, and all kind of debris in it, and I knew it wasn't natural."

Zach says he knew something was not right so he immediately told his dad. They called the Shreveport Water and Sewer Department, but were told it would be on a list.

"I knew it wasn't there before, and i didn't know for sure but I thought it was sewer, and if it was that I figured it would probably kill the fish, and some of the wildlife that could be drinking that water, and I would hate that for nature,“Zach said.

Zach and his dad then contacted Caddo Parish Constable Eric Hatfield, who went over to the site on Saturday, and then called Shreveport's Water and Sewage Emergency number, telling them the problem was more severe. Hatfield says the city responded to the call in less than an hour.

Barbara Featherston, water and sewer department director, says the problem has been fixed, and the pipe was in good condition. She says the pipe is located about 40 feet from the bayou, and overtime the slope along the bayou shifted causing erosion around the pipe. She goes on to say there wasn't enough dirt to support the pipe so it eventually gave out.

She also says she appreciates Zach for bringing the problem to the city's attention.

"The problem has been repaired, that part of the system is all back to normal. We had to do a lot of work besides at that location, but it's all back to normal," she says.

She says Zach did exactly what he was suppose to do in this type of situation.

"He knew something wasn't right, he talked to his dad, and he and his dad reported it, they did all of the right things,” Featherston said.

Featherston also says you can also take pictures of the site, as well as follow up with your councilman and the city will work to get it taken care of.

The Department of Environmental Quality is working with the city on monitoring the water downstream from the waste spill into Sand Beach Bayou.

DEQ is doing site visits periodically to check on the impact on the bayou. DEQ says there have been no fish or any other problems from the waste leak.


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