Water issues still plaguing Ferriday

Published 2:13 am Thursday, September 1, 2011

FERRIDAY — Nearly 30-feet of conserved water in the Ferriday water plant disappeared too quickly Wednesday morning, leading to intermitted water outages all day.

Mayor Glen McGlothin, water plant crews and experts from a company that operates water plants across the state were baffled by the loss of water they thought would last all day.

“We cut the pump off and the water drained out in 15 minutes,” McGlothin said. “We don’t think it’s a major leak, because it built back up.”

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Officials turned off water to the town section by section in an effort to isolate the problem. During that time, the water built back up and was scheduled to be on from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday night, off again overnight and on again this morning.

McGlothin, who said he knew residents were frustrated and upset, said he did not want to turn off water Wednesday, but had no choice.

“If we overtax (the plant), it could completely shut down, and then we are without water for five days,” he said. “We don’t want that.”

Crews searched fields around the water plant all day for a leak, but didn’t find the source, McGlothin said.

Today, they’ll begin looking for a farm irrigation line that might be tied into the town’s water lines.

McGlothin is again hopeful the water can stay on all day today and through the weekend. Parts needed to repair the broken clarifiers are en route. McGlothin thinks the repairs can be made by sometime Monday.

The mayor also said the town is working to expedite the plan already in place to have JCP Management take over operation of the water plant. He said he hopes the town can sign the contract with the company early next week so they company can step in immediately.

“I’m trying to let the experts handle this,” he said. “I wish I could do better, but I’m doing all I can.”

Ferriday area schools will be closed again today.

The latest woes are the result of low water levels in the river that feeds the plant. McGlothin said because of the low water levels, the plant’s filters and pumps start to treat less water and more organic material that sits on top of the river.