State may lift boil-water notice today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – A boil-water notice in effect for Ferriday since Aug. 20 could be lifted as early as today, Michael Cazes, regional engineer for the Louisiana Office of Public Health, said Tuesday.

On Monday, he and other public health officials visited the town’s water plant to see if needed repairs had been made, check the water’s clarity and chlorine levels — which were within acceptable levels — and take water samples.

&uot;They’ve still got a couple of light bulbs they have to put in, but about 99.9 percent of the improvements were completed,&uot; said Cazes, who last inspected the plant Dec. 16.

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Such repairs have included working on filters and chemical pumps, installing a new operations computer and making electrical improvements.

Public health officials in Alexandria should get the results of those samples back at about noon today, Cazes said. The office’s lab is checking the six samples to make sure the level of coliform bacteria is within acceptable levels.

If all samples are within acceptable levels, a public health official will call Mayor Odeal Montgomery to tell her the notice will be lifted. As soon as possible, he will drive to Ferriday to personally deliver the notice – the last step needed to officially end the boil water notice.

As of Tuesday, Montgomery was guardedly optimistic. &uot;I&160;really don’t know whether it will be lifted or not,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;We’ll know when they get the results of those samples.&uot;

Even after the notice is lifted, the state will continue watching Ferriday’s water system closely.

&uot;We’ve been monitoring turbidity every hour (during the boil notice), and we’ll continue doing that even after the notice is lifted,&uot;&160;Cazes said.

The state will also keep watching to see that additional repairs are made at the plant, which serves 4,200-plus residents and dozens of businesses.