Better Pumps?


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After repeatedly being misinformed by the Corps of Engineers about new low-rise pump technology, Sharon Duplessis says she and other concerned residents decided to go directly to the source. The result is tonight’s meeting hosted by the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association (and co-sponsored by another 11 neighborhood groups) being held at 6:30 p.m. at St. Dominic's Gymnasium, 6300 block of Vicksburg Street behind St. Dominic's Church on Harrison Avenue.  


Representatives from KSB, which is the third largest pump manufacturer in the world, and engineers from the Netherlands and Germany who have used the technology will explain how the low-rise pumps operate. High-level officials from the Corps of Engineers, including the new head of the Hurricane Protection Office, Colonel McCormick, a representative from Sen. Landrieu’s office and other public officials will be at the presentation. 


“Really it’s unprecedented in this country — 12 neighborhood organizations getting together and saying to the Corps that we don’t want your pumps,” Duplessis says.


As part of the 100-year storm protection plan, the Corps will be constructing permanent pumping stations at the three outfall canals at Orleans, 17th Street and London Ave. The neighborhood organizations found information about low-rise pumps, which are supposed to be lighter, take up a smaller footprint, are far lower in height, have far less impact on green spaces and sight lines, put no grease or oil into area waters when in use (in contrast to the five pounds of grease per pump from traditional pumps), cost far less to build and maintain, and are more efficient hydraulically than traditional pumps. These pumps have been used extensively in Germany, England and Holland.


Duplessis says that when she and other neighborhood residents contacted the Corps about the pumps, she was told for a variety of reasons — the low-rise pumps were proven to be faulty, had to be spaced too far apart and that the canals would have to be widened — that the low-rise pumps couldn’t be used at the outfall canals. Duplessis says that when members of her group, Safe Pumps for NOLA, contacted KSB to see if any of these concerns were true, they were told no. Duplessis says this kind of deception is unacceptable.


“We want them (the Corps of Engineers) to span the globe to find the most advanced technology in pumping stations,” Duplessis says. “We deserve it.”


Tonight’s meeting is co- sponsored by:

Lake Oak Neighborhood Association

Broadmoor Improvement Association

Bucktown Civic Association 

Lake Terrace Property Owners Association

Dillard Community Development Corporation

Lake Vista Property Owners Association

Oak Park Neighborhood Association

Gentilly Heights East Neighborhood Association

East and West Lakeshore Property Owners Association

MidCity Neighborhood Association

Lower Gentilly Neighborhood Association  


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