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REPORT: Device error caused water troubles in Donaldsonville

10 months 1 day 22 hours ago March 23, 2016 Mar 23, 2016 Wednesday, March 23 2016 March 23, 2016 1:01 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

DONALDSONVILLE – Residents in Donaldsonville may be able to use their drinking water again as early as Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the People's Water System says a possible device issue or a faulty meter forced Donaldsonville officials to tell residents to not use the city's drinking water.

The Department of Health and Hospitals said Wednesday that testing is now underway, but the water is still not approved to drink.

DHH says they ordered People's Water System to stop treating the water with Chlorine Dioxide Tuesday, today they verified the chemical is no longer being used to treat the water.  DHH says a chlorine dioxide by-product is still in the water system, and they are testing the levels of the by-product in the water now.

According to DHH, they are requiring the company to submit a water treatment plan to the agency for approval addressing treatment techniques. DHH says once the plan is implemented, they will take more water samples.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry, a state health officer, released this statement:

"Today, I still have more questions than answers. The water system has been unable to satisfactorily answer our questions as to why their self-generated test reports that had chlorine dioxide levels above the EPA standard were not reported to us. I am also concerned that the system cannot demonstrate any actions they took when they learned of these levels," said Guidry

DHH also says they are drafting violation notices, and an administrative order, after their findings. The administrative order will set compliance time lines for the water system, and penalties if People's Water System does not comply.

An inspection earlier this week revealed elevated levels of chlorine dioxide in the system. Around 10,000 residents were warned not to drink the water.

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