sewerage and water board

The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board uses a peculiar system made up of equipment and technology cobbled together over more than a century. Here's more on the system (in sharable Tweet-form):

This article has been updated.

A boil water advisory for the East Bank of Orleans Parish will remain in effect until further notice, the city announced this morning.

According to Marcia St. Martin, spokeswoman for the Sewerage & Water Board, there was a small fire at approximately 9 a.m. this morning in the boiler room at the Sewerage & Water Board plant on S. Claiborne Ave. The interruption caused a loss of 25-cycle power, and water pressure in the system dipped below 15 psi — the threshold for issuing a boil water advisory.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing $19 million for flood mitigation efforts at nine sewerage pump stations in New Orleans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement Friday that improving the sewerage infrastructure can help the city prepare for reduce the impact of a natural disaster.

The FEMA grant will pay for elevating and hardening the pump stations to prevent the kind of flood damage that occurred during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The westbound lanes on South Claiborne Ave. between Cambronne St. in Orleans Parish and Dakin St. in Jefferson Parish will close for two years, the City of New Orleans said today in a press release.

The closure, set to begin Sept. 17, is due to work being conducted on the drainage system beneath the street and neutral ground. Motorists will be detoured onto the eastbound lanes of South Claiborne.

Danielle Bell / The Lens

With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on New Orleans, one of three key Army Corps of Engineers pumping stations that help drain the city during a storm is only at partial capacity — far less than what is needed to keep the Orleans Avenue Canal from filling.