Ferriday water work still weeks away

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – Completion of maintenance work on Ferriday’s water plant, tanks and delivery lines could be almost two weeks away.

Such work is needed if the town’s water plant and delivery system is to produce consistently clean and safe water for its 4,000-plus residents and dozens of businesses.

The turbidity, or clarity, level of water produced by the plant only occasionally spikes above the 0.5 level set by the state, but it must stay under that level for three days for the state to consider lifting a boil water notice on the town. If all goes on schedule, today – the 49th straight day the town of Ferriday has been under a boil-water notice – should see crews begin to drain and clean the town’s water tanks, said Town Attorney John Sturgeon.

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To complete that work and refill the tanks should take about two days, Sturgeon said. Next, crews will flush sludge from water lines – which will take seven to 10 days.

Beyond that, more maintenance work cannot be done until the town’s application for $225,000 Community Development Block Grant funds is approved, which should happen late next week.

The town has already gotten a $50,000 grant from Gov. Mike Foster’s Office of Rural Development.

An application for more than $112,000 will be considered by the state’s Interim Emergency Board at the board’s November meeting.

After being on a boil water notice for three days, Ferriday’s water plant shut down completely and stayed down for two days.

Since it began running again, work done on the plant has included cleaning filters and replacing faulty sensors that control backwashing of the filters and repairing pump connections and valves.

It has also included putting in bigger chemical tanks and installing a computer with modem to help operate the plant, Sturgeon said.