Is there a silver lining for Ferriday?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 1999

It seems members of the Ferriday Town Council have an opportunity to find a silver lining, of sorts, in the grey clouds of water woes.

Engineer Bryant Hammett is encouraging the council members to pursue an alternative source for the town’s water supply.

Hammett’s proposal is to draw water from wells near Lake St. John, pump that water through new pipes and a to-be-built treatment plant and on to the more than 4,000 customers using the town’s water system. He says the new source could be tapped, and the new plant built, for $1.05 million — less than the $1.1 million in federal grants the town has received to upgrade treatment procedures for its current water supply.

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Given Ferriday’s water woes, the proposal seems a sound one.

For years, Ferriday residents have lived with the brown water resulting from high levels of manganese in the water, which is drawn from ground water near Old River. Now, for the past four months, water system users have been under a boil-water notice because malfunctioning equipment at the town’s water plant has compromised the quality of the water. It’s good enough to bathe — if you’re healthy — but not for drinking.

Ferriday’s residents deserve better than this.

They deserve clean, reliable and safe drinking water.

Tests under way now should answer whether Hammett’s proposal is sound.

And, if so, we strongly encourage the town council members to take advantage of the opportunity to make a bold, decisive change for the better … for all their residents.

It’s an opportunity for town council members to do the right thing.