Ferriday engineer presents water plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – Town engineer Bryant Hammett told Ferriday councilmen Tuesday they should consider pumping water from wells near Lake St. John.

&uot;I&160;wouldn’t ask you to explore it if I didn’t think it was a possibility the town should at least consider,&uot;&160;Hammett told the Town Council.

Drilling wells, building a treatment plant and building a line to get the water from a Concordia Waterworks District No. 2 transmission line would cost about $1.05 million, Hammett said.

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The council took the matter under advisement but did not say when they will decide whether to pursue the idea. &uot;This is just preliminary,&uot;&160;said Councilman William Rucker. &uot;I&160;hope we can study this in depth and not act hastily.&uot;

The idea could not be presented to the town earlier because Concordia Waterworks is only now building a 18-inch transmission line – the line that, with the waterworks’ approval, would be used to bring the aquifer’s water to Ferriday’s system.

There is no deadline for the council to decide whether to pursue the idea, but Hammett said he will not finish plans for water plant improvements to take more manganese from the town’s water until that decision is made. That is because Hammett is proposing using more than $1.1 million in federal money the town got this summer to fund the proposed project. And that money was originally set aside to make the manganese-reducing improvements.

&uot;So now is the time … to see whether this is something you want to pursue,&uot;&160;Hammett said. That money would cover the cost of the work, so the town would not have to ask for more funds, he added.

But first, he must see whether the aquifer could supply water for Lake St. John Waterworks, Concordia Waterworks and Ferriday customers for decades without running dry.

When crews finish testing wells Concordia Waterworks has drilled, they will yield data that would show Hammett whether the aquifer could even possibly supply water to all those people. The Ferriday council would then have to drill its own test wells to see for sure.

&uot;The last thing we want to do is get everyone dependent on one water source and then have it go down,&uot;&160;Hammett said to Lake St. John customers at the meeting.

To get water from that aquifer, the town would also have to negotiate with Concordia Waterworks to use its transmission line.

Ferriday was put under a boil water notice Aug. 20 when its 11-year-old water plant kept shutting down. The notice is still in effect.