Ferriday rushes to fix water leak

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. — Instead of watching police write tickets, job shadowing students observing Ferriday police Wednesday got a little unexpected excitement, riding alongside police as they took water leak notices to local businesses. That is because crews had to rush Wednesday afternoon to fix a major water main leak that threatened Ferriday’s water supply.

On Tuesday, Ferriday water plant workers noticed water trickling from a spot on the north side of the plant.

When they broke through concrete at noon Wednesday to investigate, a leak in the 12-inch water line that carries water from the plant &uot;shot water eight feet into the air,&uot;&160;said Town Attorney John Sturgeon.

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But after 3 p.m., crews from the Town of Ferriday and Rotating Technologies of Monterey stopped the leak by tightening a loose connection on the main, said Plant Supervisor Mary Farmer.

The town is ordering new gaskets for the water main to keep the connection from loosening again, she added.

If the leak had not been stopped, the town would probably have had only enough water in its tanks to last until 6 p.m. Wednesday. In fact, at 2 p.m., the town was already issuing notices telling residents and business owners about the problem and asking them to conserve water.

Notices were distributed to Ferriday schools, the local health office, Laribay Cable, KFNV-FM radio and even local beauty shops and were distributed throughout town by police.

If the system had lost pressure, a boil-water notice would have been issued and the Department of Health and Hospitals would have taken water samples today.

The samples would then have to test negative for coliform bacteria before the notice could be rescinded.

Ferriday was under a boil-water notice from mid-August to mid-December because the town’s water plant kept shutting down, apparently due to operator error and lack of maintenance.