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Solution coming to West Feliciana brown water woes

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

By Lester Duhé | November 6, 2019 at 10:39 PM CST - Updated November 6 at 10:39 PM

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (WAFB) - For folks who live in West Feliciana Parish, they’ve been having some strange brown water issues recently.

According to Parish President Kenneth Havard, they’ve been having the water issues since the start of June, however, a solution is on the way.

“It’s still okay to drink, but if you tell people to drink brown water, they might look at you like you’re crazy,” said Havard.

You may have seen the occasional murky water coming out of your faucet or bathtub, and it can affect anyone throughout the entire parish.

“Just depends on where you’re at and how close you are to the injection point, but it could pop up at any place,” said Havard.

Havard says the chlorine is mixing with the magnesium and then it oxidizes, or rusts, making the water come out a light brownish color.

“It scares people. It’s hard to wash your clothes. If you’re in the middle of washing white clothes and you get a rush of brown water, it can ruin your clothes, so it’s an issue,” said Havard.

The parish’s chief executive says they have a temporary fix, where they’ll be injecting gas chlorine into the system.

"So that’s what we’re going to be doing, and putting some phosphates in it, so what that does is it stops the natural causing ammonia from blending with the bleach and causing the magnesium to oxidize,” said the parish president.

However, a whole new water system is in the works for the parish, which Havard says will cost about $250,000 to 300,000 from the parish’s general fund, but it’s a necessity.

“We need to go to a new system now. If they’re going to keep requiring us to put that liquid bleach in at a higher quantity, then we’re going to what they call a chloramine system, which is the same as Baton Rouge, and we’ve made the decision to do that now,” said Havard.

Havard says they’re waiting for permits from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). The parish plans to have the new system in place by the end of January of 2020.

There’s currently a boil advisory in the northeast part of the parish in the Spillman area, but that should be lifted by Thursday, Nov. 7.

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