Frayed rope little comfort in Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 31, 1999

It’s a frightening picture: a critical switch at the Ferriday water plant is held in place by a fraying piece of rope.

The ramifications of that image are even more frightening: the system that is supposed to provide clean, safe drinking water to more than 4,000 people is dependent on that frayed cord.

It offers little comfort to the residents of Ferriday, and rightly so.

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The town’s water system, which shut down Aug. 23 for nearly three days, is running again, but the water is still not safe for drinking.

And town officials – citing a lack of money -&160;say they just don’t know when they’ll get that switch repaired.

Instead, they are seeking more than $380,000 to repair the backwash and filter system (including the malfunctioning switch) and for other overdue maintenance projects at the plant.

And they are refusing to point fingers or place blame on any of the water plant’s employees.

We believe the city officials should point fingers squarely at themselves – the leaders who would allow the city’s only water system to become so dangerously ridden with maintenance and repair projects.

It’s an embarrassment to the residents of Ferriday that the water system has fallen into such disrepair that its proper functioning depends almost entirely on a piece of frayed rope.

And it’s the responsibility of city leaders to repair those problems – to make the water system the priority it should be – now.