Consent Decree – The Consent Decree between the S&WB, the City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, plaintiff interveners, and the United States of America, was entered into in June 1998, with the purpose of ensuring that the wastewater collection system in the City of New Orleans meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Construction contract documents – These are documents that describe and detail the work to be done and are used by contractors to bid on projects. Construction contract documents include drawings that show what work is to be done and the specifications which describe the standards that the completed work must meet to be acceptable.
CSES (Collection System Evaluation Study) – A study conducted in each of the ten service basins evaluating the structural needs of the S&WB’s sewer collection system.
DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) – The S&WB strongly encourages participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and sets DBE participation goals on all contracts. A company must be registered with the S&WB as a DBE to qualify for DBE participation goals. See the Disadvantaged Business Program section of the S&WB website for information on the DBE Program.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) – The EPA is a U.S. government agency with the mission of protecting human health and to safeguard the natural environment -- air, water and land -- upon which life depends. More information can be found on their website at www.epa.gov.
Force main – a force main is a sewer line in which the sewer flows due to pressure rather than gravity. Most force mains convey flow from pump stations to a gravity sewer line, another pump station or to the wastewater treatment plant.
Force majeure – As defined in the Consent Decree, this is an event arising from causes beyond the control of any entity which delays or prevents the performance of any obligation under the Consent Decree.
Full Lining – A method of repairing a sewer pipe where a liner is pulled through a sewer pipe from one manhole to another and is heat cured under pressure inside the pipe in order for it to harden and form to the shape of the original pipe. This repair method acts as a seal against cracks, open joints, or small holes in the original pipe.
GIS (Geographic Information System) – GIS is a computer information mapping system used to show all of the sewer lines, manholes, force mains and sewer pump stations in the S&WB’s sewer system, as well as the physical properties and repair status of each asset. This map can be accessed in the Map section of the website.
Gravity sewer – gravity sewer is generally constructed in public rights of way or utility easements. The gravity system is a network of pipes that allows wastewater from homes and businesses to flow downstream to a network of pumping stations. Manholes are provided every 300 feet or so to allow the pipe to change direction and for system maintenance.
I/I (Infiltration and Inflow) – Groundwater that enters the sewer system through cracks, breaks, open joints, etc. Having unnecessary water in the system reduces the capacity for normal sewer flow and increases the amount of water requiring treatment, overburdening the sewer system and adding costs for treatment.
MCD (Modified Consent Decree) – Due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina, a modified version of the 1998 Consent Decree was lodged. The MCD is currently in place and it mandates revised milestone dates for the remaining SSERP work as well as other sewer system improvement projects.
Milestones – The Consent Decree/Modified Consent Decree set dates for which certain achievements must be made, with financial repercussions for failure in meeting these dates. Milestones are set for CSES and RMAP due dates, “Begin Construction” dates and ”End Construction” dates for the nine basins which are part of the SSERP. To date, all milestone dates have been achieved.
Pipe Bursting – A method of replacing a pipe that is used when it is not feasible to dig a trench. A pit is dug at each manhole and a pipe, usually of the same diameter as the original pipe, is pushed through the pipe being replaced. The old pipe is broken by a bursting head and the pieces of the old pipe remain in the ground.
Pipe Replacement – A method of repairing a sewer pipe where the entire length of a pipe, from manhole to manhole, is dug up and replaced with new pipe.
Point Repair – This is a repair that is performed by digging a trench limited excavation in the location of the defect and repairing the defective length of pipe with a new piece of pipe of the same diameter.
Program management – As the Program Manager for the SSERP, MWH is responsible for the coordination of the numerous design engineers and contractors carrying out the planning, design and construction of improvements to the sewer system.
Pump station – A pump station is a facility that collects wastewater from a specific section of the gravity sewer system and pumps this wastewater through a force main to another gravity sewer further downstream in the system. This is especially necessary in an area with a flat terrain like New Orleans.
Rehabilitation – The rehabilitation of a line segment or manhole includes repairs to improve the structural condition and fix any severely broken or deformed sections of pipe. Some methods of rehabilitation include point repairs, full lining, and line replacement.
RMAP (Remedial Measures Action Plan) – The purpose of the RMAP is to identify the remedial measures to be undertaken based on deficiencies identified in the basin’s Collection System Evaluation Study (CSES) to ensure reliability and improve the physical condition of the system.
S&WB (Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans) - Formally organized in 1899, the Sewerage and Water Board has since set out to fulfill its goals of providing the city with adequate drainage, sewerage collection, and drinking water. The S&WB is responsible for furnishing, constructing, operating, and maintaining a water treatment and distribution system and a sanitary sewerage system for New Orleans, as well as a portion of the storm drainage system. More information can be found on their website at www.swbno.org.
Service basin - The S&WB’s East and West Bank sewer systems are split into ten service basins, the boundaries of which are determined by the main pump stations to which the sewage in the areas flows.
SSERP (Sewer System Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program) – The SSERP has been undertaken by the S&WB to identify and address structural and mechanical deficiencies in the wastewater collection system in compliance with the Consent Decree. See the Overview section of the website for a detailed description of SSERP.