Officials: No illnesses from water

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – Residents might be sick of Ferriday’s boil water notice – now in its 55th day – but local health officials have not heard of anyone getting sick from the water.

No sickness due to Ferriday’s water has been reported to Concordia Parish’s Health Unit since a boil water notice was issued for the town Aug. 20, Parish Health Officer Mack McDonald said Tuesday.

“Usually, if someone had suspected they had gotten sick from (the water), they would bring in some kind of evidence, like lab tests, to prove it,”&160;McDonald said. “Then we would make a record of it. But no one has come in so far.”

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In addition, Vernon Stevens, administrator of Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday, said no one has come in with symptoms that could be traced back to the town’s water.

Such symptoms could include bacterial infections and nausea, he said.

But Stevens said he is not surprised that no one has gotten sick from the water. “Most people heard about the (boil) notice pretty early,”&160;he said. “Plus, the water has been bad for so long that many people have been drinking bottled water long before this.”

Residents have complained for several years about the water the town gets from Old River having a high magnesium content that makes the water brown and smelly.

The town’s water system serves more than 4,000 residents and dozens of businesses.