Council votes on Ruddock pump

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — The St. John Council will vote Tuesday on a resolution declaring a public emergency to speed up replacement of a water pump at the Ruddock well.

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the main pump that sends water into the LaPlace water system was damaged sometime during the storm along with a generator that powers the pump. He said the quandary was discovered after pump operators restarted the pump immediately following Hurricane Ike.

“The operators noticed that the pumps were not pumping the same level of water as before the storm,” Boe said. “We went 3,000 feet down into the well to look at the screeners and impellers that block sand and debris from coming into the system. The impeller showed an extreme amount of wear and the screen and liner for the pump were also damaged.”

Parish Engineer C.J. Savoie said a flow test will be conducted to determine what size pump needs to be ordered for the project. He said the estimated cost of the project stands at around $250,000.

“We felt it was wise to replace the entire pump since it is such a vital part of the water system,” Boe said. “If the other motor on the pump goes out, no water can be pumped into LaPlace.”

Boe said declaring a public emergency shortens the project time line by about 60 days since the parish can now take three bids, pick the lowest and get rolling on the project as quickly as possible. He said the parish last declared a public emergency in March of 2008, when a situation at the Za Montz sewer lift station in Reserve warranted the emergency declaration.

“The issue with the pump is of similar importance,” Boe said.

Boe said work would begin as soon as the administration gets approval from the council. The council meets this Tuesday at the P.D. Hebert Building in LaPlace at 6:15 p.m.