According to a representative for the company that supplies chemicals for the City’s water plant, the spike in brown water City residents are currently experiencing is a sign of progress. The rep spoke at a pre council meeting Sept. 25.
The City announced a change the distribution system disinfectant from chloramines to free chlorine on Sept. 22. This system cleanse will stir up sediment in the water lines, which is causing the taste/odor/discoloration issues. The objective of flushing the system is to do a good job this time to get the system really clean and develop a maintenance plan where the City can sustain water quality in the future.
The process should take 4-6 weeks, but the rep assured residents that the water is safe to drink and use despite its appearance. He did say, however, that residents are free to boil the water if it makes them feel better.
Utility Director Charles Brossette said they’re testing the water every two hours before it leaves the plant. The water coming from the plant is fine. The distribution system is the problem. The City has plans for replacing old water lines moving forward.
The water is worse in some areas than others and the rep said it all depends on the water age and where it’s coming from. The flush begins at the plant and works the water all the way through the system. There’s 1,900 customers in Water District 1 and the rep said everyone will probably see brown water at some point.
Mayor Lee Posey said he’s concerned about the amount of photos he’s received from residents, showing the dark color of the water in their tubs and sinks. “I’m absolutely embarrassed about it,” he said.
The system flush and disinfectant change are a few measures being taken to improve the water quality. A new intake structure on Sibley Lake and new water lines will also help. The higher the intake valve is from the bottom of the lake, the smaller concentration there is of the manganese sediment that causes the brown water coloration. Shorter water line distances means the water won’t have to stay in the pipes as long.
Agenda items included:
Award bid for 5 72.5KV dead tank gas circuit breakers to Stuart C. Irby Co. of Shreveport for $195, 550
Award bid for liquid chlorine for the water treatment plant to Brenntag Southwest of Houston for $740 per ton
Enter into contract with Risk Services of Louisiana for property insurance for the City
Approve acceptance of donation of equipment from Paul Khoury and Charles Stephen Wiggins valued at $3,700
Support grant application submitted to the Louisiana Office of Community Development, local government assistance program
Approve capital improvement plan for financial assistance from LA DOTD, division of aviation, for the Natchitoches Regional Airport
Appoint Josh Axiom to fill unexpired term of Lee Gaudet as a member of the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council
Appoint Carl Walters III and Linda Queen as members of the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council
Approve transfer of lease agreement of lot in airport from Cane River Aero LLC to Nor-wes Inc.
Execute change order to the contract between the City and Williams Equipment Services LLC for the water system improvements-phase 1