Board reviews plan to put clarifier in new plant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The board of Concordia Waterworks District No. 1 on Tuesday reviewed plans for a clarifier system to be installed in its new plant near Lake St. John.

But those plans still have to be approved by Michael Cazes, regional engineer for the Louisiana Office of Public Health.

&uot;And once he approves it, it’ll still be 12 weeks before the (clarifier system) can be delivered to us,&uot;&160;said board member Johnny Morgan.

So the board still does not know when the new plant, which otherwise has already been built, will be in operation, said board President Jean Fairbanks.

The good news is that with both of its wells rebuilt, the waterworks’ current plant on Louisiana 15 near Deer Park is operating well so far, said Director Charles Renfrow.

During last summer’s drought, the plant pumped 1.3 million gallons a day and the district had to ask customers to restrict water usage. This year, the plant is only pumping 975,000 gallons a day.

&uot;We’re not telling people to use all the water they want,&uot;&160;Renfrow said. &uot;But we’re doing pretty good so far. The rains we’ve had recently have helped us out. … People aren’t watering (lawns and gardens) as much as last year.&uot;

The plant is not in use because chemicals used to remove a brown tint from the water clog the plant’s filters. That reduces the time the plant can run without its filters being washed to only 12 hours, wasting water and costing the district extra money.

So district engineer Bryant Hammett suggested installing a clarifier at the plant – a device that would agitate the chemicals and prevent them from clogging the filter as quickly.

State lawmakers have already approved $500,000 in capital outlay money to help pay for water clarifiers to be installed at the new water plant.

And U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have committed to matching that with $500,000 in federal money, although they are willing to spend even more – within reason, Hammett said.