Ferriday gets funds to clean water

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – When she began smelling a rotten odor in her kitchen, Betty Anderson looked in the garbage can and trash disposal.

&uot;I&160;thought something had died,&uot;&160;said Anderson, one of the Town of Ferriday’s 1,460 water customers.

&uot;Then I&160;realized it was the water. So I’m so glad the town got the money to do something about it.&uot;

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Town officials on Tuesday received more than $1.1 million in federal money for water plant projects to reduce high levels of manganese that aren’t a health hazard but have turned the water brown and smelly for several years.

Town Engineer Bryant Hammett said the level of manganese is the highest of any city he has seen, but no one seems to know why.

It will take two and a half years to install a floating water intake device, oxidation equipment and new filter at the plant, which is more than 10 years old.

Officials and local residents attended a Tuesday ceremony at which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office handed the town a check for $1,137,000, including a $775,000 grant and $362,000 loan.

On Monday, President Clinton announced that $210 million would be awarded nationwide to help provide safe, clean water to every U.S. home – and Ferriday’s award is part of that amount.

&uot;We wouldn’t have the money to make these improvements if it hadn’t been for this grant (and loan),&uot;&160;said Mayor Odeal Montgomery.

Although Ferriday’s water plant improvements will not be completed until early 2002, the town could have relief from high manganese levels as early as this time next year.

That is when Concordia Parish Waterworks District No. 1 will finish more than $4.33 million worth of improvements.

That will give Ferriday a backup source of water in case of emergencies, Hammett said.