State reviews plans for clarifier at new waterworks plant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – A state health official is reviewing plans for a clarifier system to be installed in Concordia Waterworks District No. 1’s newly built water plant at Lake St. John.

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, according to engineer Bryant Hammett.

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But the district’s board cannot get a reliable estimate on how much the system will cost until Michael Cazes, regional engineer for the Louisiana Office of Public Health, gives his approval to the plans. &uot;The ball’s in his court now. It’s kind of in limbo until we hear about that,&uot; said board President Jean Fairbanks. Cazes could take anywhere from three to six months to approve the plans, board members said.

The board reviewed plans for the project in its July meeting. Once the plans are approved, it could still take about 12 weeks for the equipment to be delivered.

So the board still does not know when the new plant, which otherwise has already been built, will be in operation. &uot;Everything’s on hold – we’re not doing anything up there now,&uot;&160;said board member Edgar Jones.

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

Meanwhile, the district’s current plant on Louisiana 15 near Deer Park is operating well, said Director Charles Renfrow.