SUEZ Technology helps project in New Orleans to control flooding at three drainage canals

After being devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States (U.S.) is committed to protecting the city from future flooding. As such, as part of the Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) project, SUEZ, through its Water Technologies & Solutions Business Unit, recently completed the installation of 17 custom Climber Screen systems. With this innovative screen technology, the city will be able to control flooding and help prevent pollution while directing water back into Lake Pontchartrain.

SUEZ’s Climber Screen Model IVS technology was installed for the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals. The project was complex with many engineering challenges, as each outfall canal and pump station had various requirements for different sized pumps and flow. The total peak design flow for the 17th Street canal is 10,222 million gallons per day (MGD) (38,694 MLD), the Orleans Avenue canal is 2,187 MGD (8,278 MLD) and the London Avenue canal is 7,301 MGD (27,637 MLD).

Working in conjunction with Environmental Technical Sales, Inc., the local SUEZ representative; Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the design build contractor; and MR. Pittman Construction, SUEZ supplied the Extreme Duty Climber Screens designed to protect the high output pumps that remove floodwaters from the collector canals. The system is able to clear potentially pump-damaging materials from a submerged bar rack as well as move them to a discharge chute for removal. Debris too large for the screen to remove will stop the screen operation to help prevent damage and activate an alarm to make operators aware of the blockage. They can then manually remove the object and return the screen to service protecting the area from flooding.

“SUEZ has installed more than 100 Climber Screen units in the greater New Orleans area and has built a strong relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the years. Our technology is providing the PCCP project with a low-cost and easy-maintenance option for flood control and protection of downstream equipment for the canals and pump stations,” said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems, SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was authorised and funded to design and construct the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) for Southeast Louisiana. As part of the HSDRRS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the contract to construct the PCCP project to PCCP Constructors, a joint venture. The PCCP replaced an interim structure constructed in 2006 with a permanent and more sustainable measure for reducing the risk of a 100-year level storm surge entering the outfall canals. Over the past 10 years, the Corps has strengthened the levees, floodwalls, gated structures and pump stations that form the 133-mile (214-kilometre) greater New Orleans perimeter system and improved approximately 70 miles of interior risk reduction structures.