Element: Infrastructure

Comite River Diversion Canal

The Comite River Diversion Canal project consists of a 12-mile channel intended to divert as much as 12,700 cubic feet of water per second from the Comite River, Bayou Baton Rouge, Cypress Bayou and White Bayou to the Mississippi River.

Pump station 59 under Bridge

Sewage pump station 59 is located downtown. A mural of a pelican, the Horace Wilkinson bridge, and other wildlife is painted on the exterior of the pump station.


The capacity and quality of public facilities and services that serve East Baton Rouge Parish affect the quality of life enjoyed by those who live, work, and visit the entire Baton Rouge metropolitan area. These services are a major factor in determining the amount, location, and type of growth a community can anticipate. The East Baton Rouge City-Parish government administrators, together with its service providers, operate and facilitate the needs of the entire Baton Rouge community.

The underlying infrastructure that services the City-Parish area includes wastewater, drainage and water, utilities, and public rights-of-way. Newer development requires expansion of infrastructure and also requires ongoing maintenance. In addition to these systems, public buildings also support society at large and should be considered an integral part of the infrastructure of the City-Parish. The infrastructure element provides an overview and assessment of the current City-Parish wastewater and drainage services along with recommendations to help Baton Rouge achieve and manage the growth reflected in the Vision for FUTUREBR.

Infrastructure GoalsDrainage Work

  1. Collect wastewater and provide effective treatment in an efficient, reliable, sustainable and environmentally sound manner
  2. Reduce the impact of flooding
  3. Improve the drainage system to improve water quality
  4. Public buildings should be sustainably constructed, strategically located, and comprehensively planned


Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, the federal government, through the Clean Water Act, called for the elimination of sanitary station overflows (SSOs) and set more stringent wastewater treatment requirements. In 1989, the Parish entered into an agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Justice, and the State of Louisiana to establish a formal program that would be recognized and supported by all parties. The resulting agreement, the Consent Decree, along with a few revisions, required the upgrade of the wastewater treatment plants in order to meet wastewater discharge permits limits, and upgrades to the sewer collection system, in order to reduce the number of SSOs. While there is still work to be done, compliance with these requirements has helped to improve water quality throughout the entire Baton Rouge area.

Drainage Strategies

  • Channel Improvement
  • Comite River Diversion Canal
  • Stormwater Master Plan
  • No Adverse Impact
  • Location of Critical Facilities