Thibodaux Sewage Treatment Plant
City of Thibodaux Sewage Treatment Plant
Sewerage Plant Rd. (off of Talbot Rd.)
Thibodaux, LA 70301
Allow 2-3 weeks advance booking.
Guided. Experimental sewage treatment plant, using
natural microbial rock filter, outdoor oxidation ponds, UV light
disinfection, composting of sewage sludge, and discharge of
final effluent into a formerly dying wetland area.
Open pasture and levee along a freshwater swamp.
Grades 6-12 and adult. Limit your group to 30 so
as to be able to heap to 30 so as to be able to hear the speaker
in thhe outdoor setting. Have good supervision, as there is an
open lagoon and swamp.
The city of Thibodaux is:
17 miles northwest of Houma via Hwy. 24 to Hwy. 20 to Hwy. 3185.
60 miles southwest of New Orleans via Hwy. 90 to Hwy. 1 to Hwy.
20 to Hwy. 3185.
68 miles southeast of Baton Rouge via Hwy. 1 to Hwy. 3185.
30 miles east of Morgan City via Hwy. 90 to Hwy. 20 to Hwy.
One hour for trip.
Notebook & pencil.
DESCRIPTION: The City of Thibodaux's Sewage Treatment Plant
is an innovative experimental plant using natural processes to
treat sewage. In 1992 the plant was adapted so that adjacent
wetlands could be used for tertiary treatment. The plant guide
will lead nt. The plant guide will lead you past a series of
outdoor open treatment tanks, including the aerated lagoon, the
primary clarifier, the biological rock filter, and the final
clarifier. From here you will see the ultraviolet light
treatment chamber, and the control room. You will also see the
sludge drying beds, with sewage sludge in various stages of
composting. Next, you will drive to the levee separating the
swamp from pastureland. Here you will see the spillway, where
every 50 feet, effluent (liquid discharge) is released into a
beautiful cypress-tupelo swamp for tertiary treatment. This
swamp had formerly been cut off from its supply of fresh water,
and was in danger of dying. Now it is receiving fresh water from
the sewage treatment plant and is thriving. Wetlands areas such
as this act as biological filters for pollutants including
nitrogen wastes from sewage pollutants and nutrients which are
trapped in the soils where they are taken up by the roots of
There are several features which make this plant a unique
experiment. One is the recharging of a freshwater swamp with the
effluent. This plant also uses ultraviolet light as a
disinfectant, rather than chlorine. Chlorine forms toxic
compounds, and, therefore, in traditional plants which use
chlorine as a disinfectant, both a chlorination and a
dechlorination process must take place.
(See Louisiana Environmentalist July/August 1993 for an
article on the Crowley, LA "Innovative Wastewater
Treatment" which is similar to that in Thibodaux).
Discuss route of stormwater, from neighborhood to the
lagoon. Include the importance of keeping toxic materials
(used motor oil, etc) from entering this system.
Record the types of trees you see in the swamp. Look for
evidence of animals along the levee (bones, tracks, scat).
Conduct a storm drain stencilling project to educate
others about pollution from stormwater. Contact the
Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program at
1-800-259-0869 for more information.