New waterfor St. Johnnow facinglonger delay

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – After a weeks worth of meetings with all of the parties involved, Parish President Bill Hubbard has been granted absolute confidence that St. John Parish will get the cleaner, healthier tap water that has been promised for so long.

Buddy Boe, public information officer for St. John, said the parish is looking at one more major delay in the implementation of a $3.3 million Nano Filtration system designed to clean up the parish’s water. He said parish administration should know by Monday how long it would take to correct.

“It comes down to two simple options, and it is just a matter of what route the engineers want to take,” said Boe. “One option which involves corrections with the pumps, can be corrected in 45 days,

(See WATER, page 7A)

 the other, which deals with the system’s motors, will take 60 days. It does not matter to us which route is taken, but it is up to the project engineers to determine which is more feasible.”

Boe said that officials involved in the project told the parish last week that the setback revolves around the pressure at which water flows through the system. He said it was also discovered that it has been well known since October of 2007 that the pressure problem existed within the system.

“No one in the previous administration wanted to make a decision on the issue,” said Boe. “We are very disappointed by what we have inherited, but we want to let the people of the parish know we are committed to taking this on with full force.”

Boe said once a decision has been made, Hubbard has already given the authority to pull the trigger on the project to get it done as soon as possible. As soon as the necessary corrections have been made, Boe said the system will go through two additional weeks of testing, and then the water will be turned on.

“We are doing everything we can to give the people of the parish the water they paid for with a bond issue,” said Boe. “It is time for this to get off the agenda.”

St. John Parish has been under mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Department of Environmental Quality since 2002 to eliminate high levels of chlorine and triahlomenthanes (THM) from the parish’s tap water. The chemical, which has been proven to be toxic, had been added to the water to get rid of unpleasant discolorations that have plagued the tap water for years.

Once it is fully operational the filtration system, which has been in the works since 2004, will eliminate the discoloration and the chemicals in a safe and sanitary manner.