St. Charles water supply commended on 2 points

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE –– St. Charles Parish’s public water supply was recently awarded for maintaining levels of both fluoride and chlorine as part of drinking water regulations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded its Water Fluoridation Quality honor to St. Charles Parish’s Water District 1 and 2 for maintaining a consistent level of fluoride in its water supply throughout 2012.

A total of 1,663 water systems in 32 states received these awards, including four in Louisiana, of which St. Charles received two. The awards are based on data collected by waterworks staff and the CDC’s national data analysis timeframe. The fluoridation award is the latest in a string of similar awards for waterworks.

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, and the practice is recommended as a safe, effective and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. According to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment. Fluoridation benefits all consumers regardless of socio-economic status and age group. The optimum range for fluoride in drinking water is between 0.7–1.2 milligrams per liter.

In addition, the Loui siana Department of Health and Hospitals has announced that St. Charles was one of the 95 percent of water districts in the state to comply with an emergency disinfectant rule in response to the appearance of a rare amoeba in some water systems in 2013.

The rule was issued in November 2013 and required that water systems in the state maintain a higher residual disinfectant level and increase their number of sampling sites by 25 percent. Systems must have a minimum disinfectant residual level of 0.5 milligrams per liter throughout all of their distribution lines. This level is known to control the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The rule also required that water systems develop and submit a revised monitoring plan for bacteriological and chlorine residual monitoring by Jan. 1.

“We take the safety of our water supply very seriously and intend to go above and beyond to ensure the water leaving our facility, as well as the water out in the distribution system, adheres to all federal and state standards,” St. Charles Parish Waterworks Director Robert Brou said. “The ultimate goal is to ensure that the customer never realizes a loss of service or quality regardless of happenings at our plants.”

St. Charles Parish’s water districts on the west and east banks of the river have won numerous taste test annual cont    ests through the American Waterworks Association, both regionally and nationally.

Water for St. Charles Parish is produced at two sites, on the west bank in Luling and on the east bank in New Sarpy. The distribution systems on both sides of the river are tied together via two subaqueous Mississippi River crossings, the latest of which was completed in 2009.