Ferriday water saga reaches milestone

Published 12:02 am Saturday, February 6, 2010

FERRIDAY — Behind a blue, square building in Ridgecrest, the Ferriday water saga reached a milestone Friday.

The final piling that will hold the foundation for the new water storage tank was poured, Mayor Glen McGlothin said.

Having the new tank in place at the plant will ultimately result in the lifting of the nearly-nine-month-long boil water order.

And, weather permitting, the foundation will be poured next week, and McGlothin said it was because of weather delays the work had not been completed yet.

“We have had 24 rain days in the last 60 days,” he said. “There is no way anybody could have anticipated that.”

The concrete foundation for the tank will have to cure for a week, but once it’s solid the tank — which was prefabricated offsite in south Louisiana — can be installed.

“They are bringing the tank here,” McGlothin said. “I am told the tank is going to be here in 10 to 12 days.”

The water storage tank that is being replaced has a large hole in it, leaving the water inside exposed to the elements. While the water has not tested as being contaminated with harmful bacteria since the hole opened, protocol established by the Department of Health and Hospitals requires a boil order be in place if there is a breach in a water system.

The breach in the tank began to form in 2006, and was significantly widened by storm damage from Hurricane Gustav.

More than $300,000 in repairs have already been done to the water plant itself. Long-term plans to replace the aging plant are in the works.

The bid for the new tank construction was awarded to Camo Construction of Vidalia, at a bid price of $476,000.