Fire District 7 addresses water issues

Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7’s Chief Doug Birdwell spoke out on Facebook about interactions he’s had over the quality of the water residents are dealing with. He spoke with Mr. Mains on Sept. 6 about the issues with low water volume at several of the fire hydrants. He said not to use any of the hydrants that were on the old Robeline water system due to no pressure/volume of water.

The old Robeline system is not a fire-rated water system. The fire hydrants on the Old Robeline System were paid for by taxpayers of Fire District 7. It’s a total of eight fire hydrants from Marthaville to the Robeline area. When asked how long it would be until Fire District 7 could use the hydrants, Mains had no answer. Birdwell also brought up the Ajax Water system on its issue. Mains advised him that the engineer told them to shut down the booster station on Hwy 487. When asked why, Mains said the engineer explained that it’s not needed right now. Birdwell feels differently about it, who feels this explains a lot of the water issues.

“I’m glad that the citizens now have good drinking water,” said Birdwell. “I thanked him for that. He said they have applied for grants to fix the issues. I understand they have to wait to see if the grants are approved.”

When asking about the next upcoming meeting, Burdwell claims that Mains told him he wasn’t welcome to attend the meeting. He said a board member can but that the board doesn’t want him there.

“I was told this morning by Mr. Mains that the post I made last night was a cowardly act,” added Birdwell. “Well that’s fine. All I’m doing as Fire Chief is to make sure Fire District 7 has a good water supply incase we need it. If we had to be rated right now by PIAL we would not do well due to water issues. If these issues aren’t fixed on both systems by next year this will cost the taxpayers of Fire District 7. Next year we are being rated by PIAL. Water credit is a good percentage of our fire rating.”


To the residents of Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7. As Fire Chief I have a concern. Since Sabine water has taken over the Ajax Water system and the Robeline system the water pressure at the fire hydrants has gotten worse. We had a structure fire tonight and I sent trucks to two different hydrants. One on the Old Ajax system and one on the Old Robeline System. Pressure was so low we couldn’t even fill up the trucks. Trucks were having to travel from west of Marthaville 7 miles to our well site. That’s just one way. We had better pressure at these hydrants before Sabine water took over. The fire department is getting rated next year. A portion of the rating is water. Right now we would not do good on our water credit due to poor water pressure, which means if we do bad on our rating taxpayers will pay more on property insurance. I have called Mr Walter Mains several times about this issue. I urge everyone in fire district 7 to call Sabine water about this issue. On a structure or any fire we need to be able to get water from the closest source.