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Water levels going back up

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / May 25, 1998

LAPLACE – After a week of near-disasters in the St. John Parish watersupply, the system is finally recovering, according to Parish President Arnold Labat.

“As long as we’ve got electricity, we don’t have a problem,” Labat said Friday.

It didn’t look that way on Wednesday evening. One outage at 3 p.m. washandled by reserve in the water towers, but when a large tree branch fell over power lines near the Ruddock wells, halfway to Manchac, at 8 p.m.,the town quickly dried up. The fallen tree branch cut power at the pumpstation at the wells and residents did without for several hours.

With the uncommonly dry weather conditions and people cleaning and refilling their pools, the water supply in the LaPlace area quickly plummeted.

Power company crewmen cleared the tree and re-connected power after an hour, but the damage had been done and the water supply took awhile to recover.

“Consumption is up right now, but we’re holding our own,” Labat stressed.

As of press time Friday, the tank levels were 28.2 feet at the LaPlaceplant, 30.2 feet at the Belle Terre plant and 26.0 feet at the Lions plant”It takes time to re-establish the levels, but they’re back up right now,” Labat pointed out.

He said the parish is completing installation of a new 24-inch water line from Ruddock to LaPlace, but even if it had been in place, the power outages would have had the same effect.

“With the growth in the parish, we’re continually trying to keep up,” he continued, adding an expansion to storage capacity is under way at the Lions plant for increased backup.

The parish president advised residents to water their lawns only between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. to hold own water loss due to evaporation.”Try not to use more than you really need,” he said. “Just don’t bewasteful, that’s all.”

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