What Does It Take for the S&WB to Fix a Leak Washing a Street Away? Not an Entire Year of Calls.


It’s a tale as old as time in New Orleans: A problem needs fixing, people call the Sewerage and Water Board, they do nothing about it for a ridiculous amount of time. If ever. And everybody lives crappily ever after. 

You’re not an actual New Orleanian until you’ve had your first mind-bogglingly frustrating altercation with our largely incompetent Sewerage and Water Board. Whether they send you a bill so high it could fund an entire Mardi Gras Krewe, or ghost you harder than a shady Tinder date when you ask them to please, please, please just come fix a leak, they prove again and again that there are so many ways that a humble Sewerage and Water Board can make the lives of its dependents a living hell. 

Nobody is more aware of this than the 8000 block of Jeanette Street. Residents of this block, who live in the Carrollton neighborhood next to Tulane, had been dealing with the same leak for over a year. 

This wasn’t just any leak though. It’s the granddaddy of leaks, and it was slowly washing away the street in front of their homes. 

Homeowner Anna Kardon quipped, “Now we’re going to be able to say we have waterfront property it’s so deep. It’s getting worse and worse.” 

Despite contacting the Sewerage and Water Board about the problem for a year, nothing had been done to fix the leak. Neighbor Elliot Weiner commented that he was tired of watching his street slowly wash away. “It’s been a pretty ridiculous affair with the amount of water that’s coming out of the street, and it’s just eroding everything away.” 

There was no escaping this insidious leak. It was not only eating away at the street outside their homes but also deteriorating the quality of life inside them. Homeowner Maureen Spencer said that it had gotten so bad that, “One night, probably three weeks ago, I went to start my dishes and there was just no water. You call sewerage and water board and of course, they say we’ve closed.” 

Other people who have tried to deal with the Sewerage and Water Board will tell you: it seems like they’re closed more often than they’re open. 

Suspiciously, water bills on the block had skyrocketed to ridiculous amounts. Bills that previously were around $150 a month had jumped to $1,700 a month. 

However, the “Sewerage and Water says it’s not due to the leak because they’re reading it from the meter, but I can’t believe it’s a coincidence that everyone’s experiencing high water bills on this block,” Weiner speculated, who got the high bill in October 2020. 

Not only was the leak inconvenient, an eyesore, possibly financially draining, and a future mosquito breeding ground, it was also dangerous, posing a threat to bikers who may not see the massive hole and to cars who had the misfortune of slamming into it. 

Kardon explained, “We’re concerned about the safety for people, especially at night. We have a lot of bikers through here near Tulane. You just can’t see it, and it’s a big hole.” 

Needing to finally get the leak fixed, for their sake and for the safety of other people, homeowners on the block reached out to WWL-TV Eyewitness News for coverage of their seemingly hopeless situation. 

Following WWL-TV’s exposure of what these residents had been dealing with, the Sewerage and Water Board graciously, finally, after a year of ignoring pleas to come fix the leak, decided to send people over to handle it. 

Spencer commented, “My thoughts were thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s time. It’s unfortunate that it took media coverage to get it done, but it’s getting done. Thank you Sewerage and Water Board. We appreciate it.” 

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