310 West 2nd Street
P.O. Box 5418
Thibodaux, LA 70302
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Public Works

1219 Henry S. Thibodeaux St.
P.O. Box 5418
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70302
Office: (985) 446-7223
Fax: (985) 446-7272  


 Archie Chaisson - Director
  Thibodaux Public Works Department Public Works - Sewage Treatment Plant  
Waste Water Treatment Plant


  • 43 Sewer Collection Lift Stations

  • Wetland Assimilation


  Click for Location on Map


TRIP TITLE: Thibodaux Sewage Treatment Plant
Thibodaux Sewage Treatment Plant
City of Thibodaux Sewage Treatment Plant
Sewerage Plant Rd. (off of Talbot Rd.)
Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985) 446-7234

Allow 2-3 weeks advance booking

CATEGORY: 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.
ENVIRONMENT: Open pasture and levee along a freshwater swamp.
GROUP TYPE: 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.
DISTANCE: 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. 3185.
TIME: One hour for trip.
COST: Free
EQUIPMENT: Notebook & pencil.

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 plants.

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 storm water, 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 stenciling project to educate others about pollution from storm water. Contact the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program at 1-800-259-0869 for more information.
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