Will water crisis soon be over?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – For 109 days, the family of Deede Dore of Ferriday has bought water or used water from the National Guard to drink and brush their teeth, and her son bathes at his grandmother’s house outside the town.

That is how long Ferriday has been under a boil-water notice imposed by the state because the town’s water plant kept shutting down.

Even worse than the inconvenience, Dore said, are the questions that remain. &uot;We have better quality water now, as far as color and odor, than we ever have,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;It makes you wonder what was in the water before.&uot;

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But residents may soon know what is in their water — and may have the notice lifted — because state health officials could inspect Ferriday’s water plant as early as next week, Michael Cazes of the Louisiana Office of Public Health said Tuesday.

The inspection will only take place then if needed repairs have been completed at the plant by that time, Cazes said. Health officials were set to inspect the plant this week, but the town found a minute leak in its water transmission line. And health officials want that fixed before they visit.

&uot;It’s like in the past — they go to fix one thing and they find something else that needs fixing,&uot;&160;Cazes said. &uot;It’s a minor leak, but we want them to go ahead and fix it before it gets any worse.&uot;

Health officials must check to see the plant is working correctly and properly chlorinating its water before they can consider lifting the notice.

They must also check to make sure the level of bacteria in the town’s water does not exceed state guidelines. No such testing has been done during the boil notice because customers are not supposed to be drinking unboiled town water anyway, Cazes has said.