State of Emergency issued over Ridgecrest water issues
RIDGECREST — Concordia Police Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson declared a state of emergency over water quality in Ridgecrest on Thursday after residents complained of dark brown water coming out their taps.
The state of emergency, said Sandi Burley police jury secretary treasurer, allowed the county to provide “water buffalos,” water tanks of fresh potable water, for the town’s residents.
“What we are trying to do is lift the veil that a state of emergency usually does and that allows us to get water buffalos in to bring in some fresh potable water,” Burley said. “In the meantime, we are still waiting to see if the request for bottled water and that sort of thing will be approved at the state level but that part has not been signed off on by the governor.”
The state of emergency declaration came after residents had reached out to members of the police jury, media sources and had taken to social media to post complaints about the quality of water in the city.
Ridgecrest resident Tabitha Harris said she grew up in Ridgecrest but moved away for 16 years and returned approximately six months ago.
Harris said the water was a problem even when she was growing up but she had forgotten about it until she returned.
“Recently, the water has been the color of oil,” Harris said. “It starts off a light color and gets darker and darker.”
Harris said the town flushed the water lines recently and it cleared the water only from the cold tap for approximately 12 hours.
“The hot water was never clear,” Harris said, adding that the water cannot be used for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth.
Harris said on top of her $80 per month water bill, she estimates she spends $200 per month on bottled water for brushing teeth, cooking and drinking. She said she has a filter on her shower that she has to replace frequently in order to bathe.
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