Yenni: Failed tax measures contributed boil water advisory

All of Jefferson Westbank except Gretna and Grand Isle under boil advisory

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
February 19, 2019 - 12:29 pm
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Don't drink the water on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. 

That's the advice from officials after a drop in water pressure.  

A boil water advisory is in effect for all of the Westbank of Jefferson except Gretna and Grand Isle.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni says crews had an issue while replacing some valves at Ames Blvd. and Lapalco Blvd.  As a result, the pressure dropped at the water treatment plant.

"This was to the point where these valves had to get done.  We did it, and they had these issues in replacing these valves," the parish president explained. "We only fell below 20 PSI for about 60 seconds."

He says, however, that under state guidelines that is too long... and requires a boil water advisory.

Yenni says that had voters approved past tax proposals, this could have been avoided.

"When your funding is cut, because you don't have the money you used to have, then you have be more reactive than proactive," he explained. "We have 1,600 miles of water lines throughout Jefferson Parish, and it is an aging system."

He says that boil water advisories have been a rarity in Jefferson Parish.

"Normally we are very good at being preventative, but we have had some millages that years ago, prior to my being in office failed."

The parish is working with schools and hospitals to ensure they have sufficient bottled water.

They are getting some help too.

"Ronnie Mains, the owner of Crossroads Global... he's going to be donating 30,000 bottles of water to the school system."

Testing is underway to verify the tap water is safe.  

"Seventy different samples have to be taken," the parish president said.

Yenni expects the water to be declared safe to drink again tomorrow by around noon.

Meanwhile here are the guidelines the parish released with the advisory:

What should residents do?

All residents are urged not to drink the water without boiling or disinfecting it first, or use bottled water. Boiled, disinfected, or bottled water should be used before drinking, ice making, brushing teeth, washing dishes and in food preparation until further notice.

Boil the water for a one full minute in a clean container. The one minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a bottle or pouring it from one container to another.

OR

Disinfect the water by mixing 1/8 teaspoon of unscented, liquid chlorine laundry bleach with one gallon of water and letting it stand for at least 30 minutes prior to consumption.  Mix it thoroughly. 

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

This BOIL WATER ADVISORY will remain in effect until rescinded by Jefferson Parish Water Department or the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.  Bacteriological samples must be collected and analyzed from the distribution system to assure the water meets potable water standards.

Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).

For additional information, please contact the Jefferson Parish Water Department at (504) 736-6743.

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