Trash/Debris Management

The Bayou Vermilion District along with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Lafayette Consolidated Government are collaborating to improve water quality along and on the Bayou Vermilion.

The Bayou Vermilion District diligently works year-round to improve water quality in and around the Vermilion River. With a staff of four employees, our bayou specialist team was able to fill over 1,220 55-gallon barrels with floating debris such as water bottles, soda cans, fast food wrappers, etc. in 2014. In addition to floating debris, the team removed 281 large items, such as couches, mattresses, 55-gallon drums, propane tanks and televisions. Also removed from the banks, coulees and canals that drain into the Vermilion River were 160 automotive and truck tires.

Annual Trash 

and Debris Totals 


     Barrels (55 gal)      

Large Items


2017 1831 194 209 230
2016 1629 245 168 114
2015 1407 202 150  
2014  1220  281  160   





2012  902.5  450   178  


























The Bayou Vermilion District regularly removes between 90 and 150 barrels (55 gal barrels) of floating debris per week from the Bayou Vermilion and its tributaries in Lafayette Parish. In addition to floating debris like plastic drink bottles and styrofoam containers, the crew picks up, on average, 30 automobile tires and a wide variety of other large items (think: playground sets, furniture, appliances and electronics, ice chests, and others) every week.

The Vermilion River and its tributaries make up the storm water conveyance system for most of Lafayette, St. Landry, and upper St. Martin Parish. Since the Vermilion River is the major conveyor of water for the area, it receives the major portions of the nonpoint source pollution. The nonpoint source pollution received by the Vermilion River results in turbidity, high fecal coliform counts and high biological oxygen demand, which in turn results in low dissolved oxygen.

The Lafayette Parish Bayou Vermilion District aims to inform residents and business property owners along the river about the problems that runoff from erosion of their stream banks and yards creates, while at the same time demonstrating ways they can effectively reduce the volume quantity and improve the quality of the water making its way into the Bayou Vermilion.

The specific goal of this project is to develop demonstration sites for erosion control and runoff from residences along the Vermilion River, as a way to filter the water that runs directly into the river.


The techniques to be implemented have four primary goals: 

  1. To reduce runoff volume through infiltration, retention, and evaporation; 
  2. To improve runoff quality through the creation of infiltration sites on previously impervious surfaces;
  3. To find beneficial uses for water rather than exporting it as a waste product down storm sewers;
  4. To raise public awareness about BMPs known to reduce water quantity, improve water quality, and about the beneficial uses and types of different native wetland plants.

There are 5 elements to this project:

  1. Wetland Plant Nursery: The nursery is used to grow native grasses, sedges, shrubs, vines and trees, which will be distributed at no cost for bank restoration and to reduce and treat storm water runoff.
  2. Rain Garden: The 10,000 sq. ft. rain garden is filled with native wetland plants that hold rain long enough for it to soak into the ground, capturing and processing parking lot pollutants rather than draining into the streets and storm drains. Click here to learn more about wetland plants.
  3. Pervious Pavement: The 5,200 ft2 area boasts four different permeable parking space options and three green spaces, all of which capture and treat parking lot pollutants such as oil, gas, and organic debris in addition to reducing runoff. Click here to learn more about pervious pavement.
  4. Rain Barrels: Rain barrels are an easy way to reduce storm water runoff leaving roof surfaces and are a source of free water for plants and animals. As part of the LDEQ grant Bayou Vermilion District hosted several rain barrel workshops where participants were provided all the materials and shown how to make their own rain barrels free of charge. Click here to learn more about rain barrels.
  5. Retention Pond: A retention pond is a pond or small lake that is designed to receive runoff water from surrounding areas and hold it indefinitely until the water either soaks into the ground or evaporates into the atmosphere. Retention ponds are an attractive way to prevent chemicals, trash and debris from entering the bayou, aid in the reduction of flooding problems downstream and serve as habitat for wildlife. Click here to learn more about retention ponds.