Drainage is a commonly discussed topic around Acadiana and one city has a unique way to tackle their drainage problems.The concept is simple and yet kind of mesmerizing to watch. With just a few simple items and some heavy machinery, the city of Rayne created an award winning way to tackle culvert cleaning. So far? It’s yielded high interest.
“We saw the void of dirty culverts that hadn’t been cleaned in years. You have so many of them it’s like where do you start..?” said Rayne Mayor, Chuck Robichaux.
For the city of Rayne it all started with an idea, a low cost and efficient way to clean the culverts.
“The city employees we put this thing together and the welder welded it.”said Robichaux.
The idea cost them less than 3 thousand dollars; using cables, a tire, and welded plates.
“We have different sized plates 10’s, 15’s, and 12’s to pull through the storm sewer”said Rayne Public Works Worker, Anthony Monroe.
A small cable is run within the culvert and hooked up to machinery, pulling the thicker cable through.
“And then we pull all the mud out to clean and make better drainage.”said Monroe.
“These guys that do this, and they make a really good pull…they start screaming. It’s like the killed a dear or like they won something.”said Robichaux.
For 95 year old Curley Sonnier, he’s never seen anything like this.
“That’s the first time seeing them clean that since I’ve been here. I’ve been here for 65 years.” said Sonnier.
A new yet simple culvert cleaning idea, gaining statewide attention; winning best in show among all three categories at the LMA, Louisiana Municipality Association awards.
“The best of the best and that’s what we won. A little community like Rayne.”said Robichaux.
A small Acadiana community making a statewide impact, fixing one blocked culvert at a time.
“If you can pull stuff like that out, it makes everyone happy.” said Monroe.
“Oh yes…I’m very happy”said Sonnier.
“Unless you start, you can’t finish in anything. The results are very promising, it’s positive, and making an impact in drainage”said Robichaux.
Robichaux says he’s gotten calls from Ville Platte, Crowley, Denham Springs and others asking about this culvert cleaning method. He said through programs, himself along with the LMA will help other communities learn about the method and develop the needed culvert cleaning tools.