LaPlace water cut off a second time to allow for pipe repairs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / October 28, 2000

LAPLACE – For the second time in two months St. John the Baptist Parishadministrators had to shut down the water supply to LaPlace in order to perform repairs on the main pipe that carries fresh water to LaPlace residents.

However, this time, the results of the shutdown were not as dramatic as the 14-hour shutdown on Sept. 10 when the Department of Public Worksand Utilities replaced one of the pumps at the Ruddock well, which supplies all the water to LaPlace.

Henry DiFranco, director of Public Works and Utilities, said the 24-inch water pipe that brings water from the Ruddock well developed a slow leak on U.S. Highway 51 near the Texaco truck stop just north of Interstate 10.DiFranco said the recent drought contributed to the leak.

“The pipe is only buried about a foot deep,” said DiFranco. “Because of thedrought there was a decrease in soil support on the pipe. Also, tractormowers running over the area caused the pipe to move and start leaking.”The water oozed up out of the ground and began to form a small pond on the side of the highway.

Parish President Nickie Monica assured everyone the leak did not pose a major threat to the LaPlace water supply and would be fixed quickly. MostLaPlace residents were using water that had been stored in the various water tanks around LaPlace, so the leak would not affect water usage.

On Oct. 18 Boh Brothers Construction Co., and parish officials turned offthe water at 11 p.m., dug up the pipe and repaired the leak. The entireoperation took seven hours, and water was restored to the system at 6 a.m. Thursday. Because of the water in the tanks nobody saw anydifference in water pressure during the operation.

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