Why Didn’t The S&WB Just Say This All Along? I Mean Really, They Could’ve Saved Us A Lot Of Time.……

Little did we know that this was all a plot by the Sewerage & Water Board. Who would’ve guessed that all along they were trying to have the Carrollton plant historically certified by the city’s Preservation Resource Center. Yes, I know, the Center mainly focuses on preserving old, archaic buildings from an ancient time in New Orleans. But apparently the S&WB isn’t seeking certification through an architectural claim. It’s seeking approval through an operational one instead.

Diesel Generators?

Nothing says old, ancient, and archaic like big diesel burning generators. They bang and clang the night away to produce energy and pollution in the loudest manner possible. They’re sort of like our politicians during election season. Are these diesel generators the S&WB’s latest attempt for membership in the city’s renowned preservation society? Probably so.It may not be possible to know exactly how long it’s been trying to woo the Center. But we got our first inkling around 2016-2017. That’s when the S&WB came up with the novel idea to spend more money preserving old steam turbines and pumps from the early 1900s even though it was cheaper to build newer and more efficient electric ones.

This public display of conservation was pure flattery. The S&WB was attempting to hearken back to the golden age of New Orleans. This was a time when steamboats carried trade upriver, and horses pulled buggies down cobblestoned streets. It was also a time when masked white men could bang and clang the night away with a young black girl they picked up at a Quadroon ball. Clearly, the S&WB thought managing the city’s water supply with relics from this era would appeal to the Center’s traditionalist sentiment. Apparently, they were wrong.

Thus far, the Center has been unimpressed. The old turbines haven’t been impressed either. One turbine (Turbine 5), said enough was enough and simply blew itself up. A number of people in the surrounding neighborhood were sent to the hospital as a result. Another one (Turbine 4), locked up its compressor, then tanked its governor during a major storm. Parts of the city soon flooded. Now it just sits there old and grumpy, refusing to say what’s wrong. Rumor has it that a sign now hangs from it that says: Just ain’t working. Apparently, these defiant turbines inspired the S&WB to turn to the diesel burning alternatives to get the Center’s attention.

But as usual, with high aspirations come high collateral damage. And nothing has been more damaged than the ears and patience of the good people of Hollygrove. Their patience has long been tested. But their ears…this is a new phenomenon.

Wake Up Noise?

It usually occurs in the wee hours of the morning. What begins as a background hum eventually rises to a peace shattering crescendo that’s impossible to ignore even with the TV turned up and the windows closed. What is that noise, some inevitably ask. Is it a train? Is it a plane flying over? No. It’s just the Sewerage & Water Board trying to impress the Preservation Resource Center by pumping and draining water throughout the city in one of the most archaic ways possible.

Now if we had only known this all along, we could’ve helped the S&WB in its preservation efforts. If it insists on using technology from the early 1900s, citizens should pay early 1900 rates. I mean charging modern rates for archaic operation doesn’t seem fully preservationist. Who knows, charging modern rates could be the one thing preventing their application from being accepted. Given all that we know now, I think this proposal should be brought up at the next City Council Utilities meeting. What about you?

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