New parish water plant getting up to speed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

FERRIDAY &045;&045; As with anything new, there are kinks to work out at Concordia Waterworks District 1’s new water plant, but the major ones have been addressed and the plant’s working well.

That’s according to system Manager Charles Renfrow who, along with engineers, has overseen the transition from the district’s old water plant to the new facility near Lake St. John.

&uot;We just got the chemical pumps working a month ago, and they’re doing fine,&uot; Renfrow said.

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Getting the chemical mix just right is especially important to remove a brownish tint from the water &045;&045; one that is not hazardous but would hardly be appealing to customers.

The next task? Fixing the system’s computerized controls so they don’t have to be reprogrammed every time the power goes out, Renfrow said.

Meanwhile, Ferriday officials have talked with some Waterworks District board members about meeting to discuss Ferriday’s tying into the Concordia water system, said Ferriday Alderman and Mayor Pro Tem Billy Rucker.

&uot;As soon as the kinks are all worked out, we’re hoping to meet with them,&uot; Rucker said. That town underwent a 124-day boil water notice in 1999 and has had other ongoing problems with the water it gets from Old River.

The Concordia Waterworks plant, which went online last fall, serves more than 8,000 customers.

One reason the new plant was so important was that water from the district’s old plant had such a brownish-yellow tint that it discolored clothes washed in it.

Besides that, the system’s old wells, located on Louisiana 15 near Deer Park, were on borrowed time, at times running very close to running out of water due to age. With that in mind, construction began in May 1999 on the district’s new plant located near Lake St. John, which was supposed to be online by spring 2000. That opening was delayed because chemicals used to remove the brown tint from the water clogged the plant’s filters.

That reduced the time the plant could run without its filters being washed to only 12 hours, wasting water and costing the district extra money. The district then installed a $1.1 million clarifier to remove the tint.