SORRENTO, La. (BRPROUD) — Ascension Parish officials are working to improve the functionality of a critical pumping station.

For more than 30 years, Sorrento’s Marvin Braud Pumping Station has reduced flooding for most of Ascension Parish.

But on Friday, Dec. 30, the station was temporarily taken offline due to a fire that was triggered by a mechanical failure.

Ascension officials say the cause of the mechanical failure was isolated, swiftly addressed, and four of the five pumping stations were back online by Sunday, Jan. 1. 

The details of the mechanical failure were described in a Tuesday news release from the Parish Government, which stated, “Based on our current and ongoing investigation, it was discovered that there was a mechanical failure by means of a ruptured air component in the engine’s clutch assembly. This internal failure caused a drop in air pressure, which allowed metal components to come into contact with one another. The heat from this metal-on-metal contact ignited the rubber in the clutch assembly, creating the reported fire. Contractors were on site within the hour and discovered that only three engines received damage. Workers immediately began inspecting damaged pumps and making repairs with spare parts on site.”

Ascension leaders do not want to see this happen again. This is why a group of local engineers are working to create and establish new protective measures meant to reduce the likelihood of such mechanical failures.

Officials say that while most pumping events are successfully managed with four pumps, it is estimated that the Marvin Braud station will reach its pump quota of five during the week of Jan. 9.   

Click here for additional information on the Marvin Braud Pumping Station.