Emergency declaration ensures LaPlace ample water supply

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

LAPLACE — The St. John Parish Council approved an Emergency Declaration that authorizes the administration to seek emergency bids for water well repairs at LaPlace’s sole water source, the Ruddock Well System.

Two water wells at Ruddock serve as the primary source of potable water for the LaPlace area. Upon noticing that Well No. 1 was experiencing significant loss of flow, an investigation was done involving the pulling of the submersible pump and televising the 3,000 foot well. The telescoping revealed excessive sand being pulled into the well shaft thereby eroding the pump impeller.

Parish Utilities Director Ralph Bean and Parish Engineer Chuck Savoie recommend that a new liner be installed within the existing shaft with a new screen. This new liner will stop the sand intrusion and the existing pump will be replaced immediately.

Well No. 1 being out of service will lead to a shortage of potable water and any failure in Well No. 2 would cause a complete and immediate loss of water service to the LaPlace community affecting public health, fire protection, emergency services, and public welfare.

The normal design, bid and installation process to replace the lining, screen and pump would take an estimated five months to complete. The emergency declaration and bid process will expedite this timeline by months. The estimate provided by the parish engineer for the entire project is roughly $200,000.

“Water is the most basic service that we must provide and as a result we have no choice but to begin this process immediately,” Parish President Bill Hubbard said.

These repairs are in no way associated with the NANO filtration system that was recently installed. The filtration system, which was ready for activation prior to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike coming through the area, experienced another delay when the radio towers necessary to operate the system remotely suffered damage and needed to be repaired before the activation process could begin again.