Water board waiting for news on grants

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Concordia Waterworks District No. 1 is still waiting to hear whether it will receive $750,000 in state and federal money to purchase a system to keep chemicals from clogging filters at its new water plant.

Chemicals needed to remove a brown tint from the water the plant gets from an aquifer near Lake St. John now clog the plant’s filters every 12 hours.

It is cost- and time-prohibitive to wash filters so often, so the plant, which was scheduled to be completed and online by spring 2000, is still not online — and engineers and officials do not know when it will be operational.

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So for now, the district has improved and is still using its aging plant on Louisiana 15 near Deer Park to serve the district’s more than 8,000 customers. &uot;But we’re going to have to get this (new plant) up and going,&uot; said board President Jean Fairbanks. &uot;There’s been a lot of headaches and a lot of money spent.&uot;

Engineer Bryant Hammett applied in October for funds to buy and install a clarifier to take out the chemicals. Hammett said during the Waterworks Board’s Feb. 21 meeting that the money will not be available until July 1.

Meanwhile, engineer Keith Capdepon of Bryant Hammett & Associates told the board during its Tuesday meeting that he will research what it would cost to install an air flotation system at the plant.

Such a system would also work to keep chemicals from clogging the filters.

As soon as Capdepon gathers the information, the board could hold a special meeting to decide whether to install the clarifier or the air flotation system, board members said.

&uot;We’ve got to decide something,&uot; Fairbanks said.

&uot;And we’ve got to do it soon,&uot; said Waterworks Board member Johnny Morgan.