Residents express concerns about West End water leak

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 7:19 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - *UPDATE* Less than two hours after our story ran on a major leak at West End, the sewerage and water Board responded. Several trucks were on the scene tonight trying to stop the leak, which some say has caused low water pressure in the area.

The sewage and water board told FOX 8 they would have it fixed by the middle of next month.

West End residents express concerns about a long-running water leak creating a small waterfall. They believe it’s impacting water pressure in the area and fire safety. City officials and the sewerage and water board promised to take action.

In an area that was one of the city’s entertainment and dining epicenters.

Sidewalks that once served entry points for more than 10 restaurants and nightclubs now run with cool, clean water.

“I’ve been here six years and it’s been running since then and the neighbors I talk to say it could be since Katrina because these leaks went to pipes that fed the restaurants,” said resident Charles Marsala.

Pipes are leaking in three locations, one near where Brunings Restaurant used to be, another at the sites of the old Bounty and Fitzgerald’s restaurants.

“There’s no meters on them so when the restaurant got taken out, there was no way to shut off the water coming to them,” said Marsala.

Jurisdictional issues have long plagued West End. The orange markings show the dividing line between Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

Though the water is leaking on the Jefferson Parish side of the line, Marsala believes it’s from waterlines supplied by the Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, which recently cut the water supply to the area to repair nearby.

“We had a problem here this last week. The water was turned off for three days and I came here and this water flows off the whole water to the air it was off. So this is New Orleans water for sure,” said Marsala.

District Council Member Joe Giarrusso reached out to Jefferson parish leaders to determine the water’s source.

“I did get an email the other day and I got in touch with Representative Hilferty involved since he represents Jefferson parish,” said city councilmember Joe Giarusso.

Marsala says this running water is a waste and a safety concern for some neighboring residential structures.

“You think about how much money is being wasted. It’s crazy but we have a fire safety issue here because with this low water pressure I talked to several neighbors with the condos on the other side they been talking about having to bring up firetrucks sometimes, because the water pressure is so low,” said Marsala.

“I know of a couple of condos that lost pressure,” said Giarrusso.

After we inquired to the sewerage and water board, they put out a statement saying that they do maintain the water lines, leaking at West End...even those leaking in Jefferson Parish...and they say they are now working to make the necessary repairs, hopefully by the middle of next month.

The sewerage and water board said Crews are assessing the leak near West End Park to repair it within the next 15 business days.

They say any customer experiencing low water pressure should call 52-WATER to report the issue, and the Orleans Sewerage and Water Board dispatch an inspector to come out and see if there are any leaks or problems in the area potentially causing low pressure.

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