Town should quickly inform of water problems

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Pardon the pun, but we suspect the news for Ferriday water customers was a bit difficult to swallow.

Customers received notices Tuesday afternoon that coliform bacteria were found in samples of the town’s water.

Half of the water samples taken June 11 were found to contain the bacteria.

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Health officials said the tests may have been contaminated by the sample bags or the taps where the samples were taken.

And in fairness to the Town of Ferriday, samples taken the following week and since show no signs of contamination.

Coming on the heels of a 124-day boil-water notice issued in Ferriday in 1999, the water system didn’t need more bad news.

Although health officials say residents should not be alarmed by the test results, it’s certainly enough to make residents leery of drinking the water.

Especially since their presence in the water system can lead to disease.

Hearing that bacteria were found in the water is hard enough to fathom, but add the fact that customers were not notified for more than one-and-a-half months and it’s down right unthinkable.

The amazing thing is the town broke no laws. Federal law states the town is only required to give written notice to customers within 45 days of incident.

Although no one involved has actually done anything wrong, we’re certain residents of Ferriday would like to know – immediately – the next time something wrong is found in their drinking water.

And, in an effort to keep the public better informed, legislators should modify the laws which regulate these notices.