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People worried about tainted drinking water

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SORRENTO - People who live on Bertrand Street in Sorrento are complaining about a smelly situation and they are worried about their drinking water.

"It's like poop and you're smelling that in your house," said resident Cindy Luquette. "You don't want your house to smell like that."

Luquette and others living on Bertrand street in Sorrento use private water wells. The Sorrento Sewerage Treatment pond backs up into their backyard. They say the water from the pond overflowed and seeped into their backyard.

"It's standing, not going anywhere, and then [there is the] smell," said Luquette.

Neighbors complained to the Sorrento City Council. Council members say they didn't know that the sewerage pond had not been serviced since December. About a month ago, they hired a company to test the pond. The company said all was well. But when a city maintenance worker checked, the valves that help discharge the ponds were closed. Council is working to remedy the situation.

Councilman Jason Adams said the city is testing water in homes to see if tainted water overflowed from the pond, and into the drinking water supply.

DEQ tells WBRZ News 2, inspectors tested the discharge of the Sorrento Sewerage plant back in March. Turns out, the fecal coliform levels were above the legal limit. The water runs from the plant, to Bayou Conway and then flows into Lake Maurepas.

DHH does not monitor private wells, but a spokesperson says the situation is unlikely to affect the drinking water of public systems.

Meanwhile, people in Sorrento are not taking any chances and said they are not drinking the water.

The Sorrento City Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday. DEQ said if Sorrento does not get into compliance, the documentation will be turned over to enforcement.




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