Water flows Thursday, help on the way

Published 12:54 am Friday, September 2, 2011

FERRIDAY — Water was flowing and things were looking up in Ferriday Thursday.

After five days of intermitted water outages, the town’s water plant stored and cleaned enough water to keep faucets around town flowing for the majority of the day.

More important, though, Mayor Glen McGlothin said, parts needed to make lasting repairs at the plant should arrive today.

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“We may be able to get it fixed Saturday,” McGlothin said.

A water clarifier blew out Saturday, leaving the plant with only one partially functioning clarifier.

Efforts to clean and store up enough water to service the town failed Tuesday and Wednesday when the plant’s tanks drained too quickly.

The parts en route should allow workers to repair one of the clarifiers, which should be enough to provide clean water to the town while the second filter is repaired.

McGlothin and water crews spent Thursday searching through fields and wooded areas near the plant for a potential leak, which they did not find.

Instead, officials from the Louisiana Rural Water Association came to a different conclusion about why water is being drained from the town’s tank so fast.

“When the water comes on, people are using it,” McGlothin said. “You can’t blame them. But we saw people watering gardens and washing their vehicles.

“Please, use the water just for essential purposes.”

Crews will work today to mark the town’s water lines in several fields, seeking to determine whether or not any area farmers have tapped into the lines for irrigation without authority to do so.

McGlothin said the town has no proof that any farmer is using town water lines for irrigation, and the search is simply precautionary.

“It could just be the water plant,” he said. “The water is the lowest I’ve seen it.”

The problems, which began Saturday, started due to low water levels in the river that feeds the plant. The filters captured too much organic material from the surface of the low water, leading to the blowout.

Ferriday area schools will be closed today, leaving the district with a full week of school to make up this year.