City, hospital look for lift station solution

The city and Acadian Medical Center are looking for an answer to what’s causing obstruction in a wastewater lift station serving the hospital.

Officials huddled Thursday after an exchange of letters and phone calls between Mayor Bob Morris, AMC CEO Butch Frazier and other city and hospital representatives.

Morris said the parties agreed to continue to look for a solution.

At last month’s City Council meeting, consulting engineer Andre Aucoin, in a review requested by Morris said indications were that solid materials from the hospital may be causing failure of the two pumps at the station and corrective action by the hospital might be necessary.

Morris subsequently sent Frazier a letter saying the hospital, according to Aucoin, needed to build a catch basin to capture whatever the obstructionist materials are.

Frazier replied that AMC would, after meeting with Aucoin, the hospital parent company’s engineers and others officials, take all necessary corrective steps should it be determined that AMC is responsible for the stalled pumps.

Morris said he and former mayor Kenneth Peart, now a member of the AMC board, looked at the mass blocking the station, and that the matter seems to be such things as rubber gloves, bed pads and the like.

“We talked about putting grinding pumps in to break the matter down, but that doesn’t really solve anything because the particles just get sent downstream to the wastewater plant,” the mayor said.

The plant, and its inefficiency, have been at the top of the mayor’s agenda since February. In June, the La. Dept. of Environmental Quality issued a corrective order to the city over its wastewater effluent.

The lift station and its pumps was installed shortly before the hospital opened in the spring of 2006.

The hospital, with a $37 million annual economic impact on Eunice, has wastewater flow of about 750,000 gallons monthly.

Frazier, talking to Chamber of Commerce members, said “if there’s something that we are doing unknowingly, we want to be part of the solution.”

“We are in the review process and hope to find out what is the best solution, if indeed there is a problem with the hospital,” he said.

“We deal with every issue that comes to our attention. We continue to do that - up front and honestly. We’ll be up front, honest, direct and treat everyone with respect,” he said.

AMC earlier this year won its parent company’s highest award for customer service, on the basis of how quickly and efficiently it deals with consumer issues.

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