Could this be a new method of flood control for us? Local officials are looking into it.

Sandbagging has always been an effective method of holding back flood water. But Parish Engineer Butch Ford says it's a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, and area leaders are always looking for new ways to handle flood protection.

Enter Aqua Levee Fluid Diversion and Retention Systems, which demonstrated its portable water barrier for parish officials Tuesday. It was done on the bank of Red Chute Bayou at Dogwood subdivision, an area that's been inundated by flood water this year.

According to a news release, Aqua Levee consists of triangular cross-sections containing tube structures that are filled with water and joined to form a temporary artificial levee.

Company officials say each six-feet-long, two-feet-high unit replaces about 120 sandbags. Units can also be stacked to increase battier height. Once that's done, water is drained from the Aqua Levee units with negative environmental impact.

Ford told me the product looks like a good alternative, but more research needs to be done first. He said he still has a lot of questions.

"First of all, cost. How do you get the system? Do you buy it, rent it?" Ford said. "Traditionally, we don't need it but every seven or eight years."

Ford said he also asked if it had been tested. Company officials said it had been tested by the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg back in 2001. He said he'd like to see that study. He also said he'd also like to find out if this product has been used anywhere for levee protection.

"If we like it, we'll pursue funding for it. We'll recommend to our policy-makers that this may be worth our money and time to invest in this." He said no decisions will be made overnight.

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