New tap water system finally in testing stage

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. John officials say that the days of sub par parish tap water may very soon be over.

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said that parish engineers have successfully installed a wastewater valve, and operators can now run ultra-chlorinated water through the new $3.3 million Nano Filtration system to sterilize it and make it ready for final testing and actual usage.

St. John residents have been waiting for improved tap water since 2004, after the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Department of Environmental Quality, implemented mandates that the parish take measures to remove harmful chemicals from the parish’s water supply. High levels of chlorine and triahlomenthanes (THM) had been added to the tap water to get rid of unpleasant discolorations that have plagued the tap water for years. The chemicals do a good job of eliminating the discoloration, but leave behind a disagreeable taste.

Once it is operational, parish officials say the filtration system will eliminate the discolorations and the chemicals in a sanitary manner, and also produce better tasting tap water.

Boe said the valve was delivered this past week and installed last Monday. He said representatives from General Electric have also returned to conduct installation of the filter membranes positioned throughout the system, and complete their final testing of the entire filtration mechanism.

“As of now, there is no specific time table on completion of the testing by GE,” said Boe. “All I can say is that St. John will be enjoying better quality tap water in the very near future.”

Boe said once all the tests are done, the parish must send a sample of the filtered water to representatives with the Department of Health and Hospitals in Baton Rouge. Upon final approval with DHH, Boe said the administration would give the green light to turn the system on for parish consumption.