Water woes easing but not over yet

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 1, 2000

FERRIDAY — Things seem to be looking up for Concordia Waterworks District No. 1 – but don’t wash that car just yet.

Rainstorms that came through the Miss-Lou the week of Aug. 10, as well as smaller rains that have fallen since then, have reduced water consumption.

The system’s 8,000-plus customers are using about 950,000 gallons a day compared with 1.34 million per day in mid-August. That was mostly due to customers using more water on their gardens and lawns during the region’s third straight summer of near-drought conditions.

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The latest usage figures are still above the 900,000 gallons a day the system’s customers were using less than five months ago.

&uot;At that rate, our wells should get caught up, although that could take a couple of months,&uot; said Manager Charles Renfrow. &uot;But we’re still asking people to conserve water as much as possible.&uot;

Another benefit of the recent rains is the saturation of the ground.

For several weeks, Renfrow and other waterworks employees have been scrambling from early morning to late at night to fix water line leaks caused by dry, shifting ground — a problem that has plagued water systems throughout Louisiana.

But crews are starting to see a decrease in the number of leaks, Renfrow said.

&uot;Maybe we’ve just repaired so many that we’ve gotten most of them,&uot; he said with a laugh. &uot;But the rainfall has been helping somewhat.&uot;

Crews are working to get a new water plant built near Lake St. John ready to handle the system’s water needs and to fix leaks in the transmission line running from the plant. The latter problem is thought to be caused by loose gaskets.

Keith Capdepon, a Bryant Hammett & Associates engineer working closely with that project, could not be reached for comment Friday.