Ferriday water work continues

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

FERRIDAY — Even as the Town of Ferriday celebrates its first few days out from under a nearly year-long boil-water order, work continues to repair its damaged water intake structure on Old River.

Due to a relatively minor drip of chemicals over the course of the 22 years the intake structure has been in use, a support weakened by the chemicals recently collapsed, leaving the intake structure’s bridge listing to one side and threatening to fall.

Engineers were on site to assess the situation last week, and Mayor Glen McGlothin said work is currently under way.

“They have moved everything to the front of the platform,” he said. “There is absolutely no weight on the end right now.”

The chemical feed tank that was ultimately the source of the problem was one of the pieces of equipment moved down the catwalk closer to the levee, McGlothin said.

“We have a new catch basin on it so that if it drips or the line breaks, it won’t drip on that platform,” he said.

Crews should start repairs by replacing metal and welding Monday, McGlothin said.

The town was able to get a $250,000 demonstrated needs grant from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant program, McGlothin said.

“It’s not going to cost us ($250,000), but they gave us that much in case things went over their estimates,” he said. “If it doesn’t go over the estimates, we just send the money back.”

The repairs are being done to last approximately two years, when the town should have a new water plant built, McGlothin said.

Engineer Bryant Hammett, who is working on the new plant project, said Wednesday he hopes that the town will have an announcement about funding for the new plant within a matter of weeks.