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Governor's office, Health Department, put Killian water utility on formal notice to clean up its act

1 month 1 week 2 hours ago Tuesday, May 14 2024 May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024 3:35 PM May 14, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

KILLIAN — State health and emergency officials issued an administrative order against the town of Killian on Tuesday noting that it had failed to maintain an appropriate water system for its 999 residents. It said recent testing had shown no bacteria present in the system.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Louisiana Department of Health say the Killian Water System failed to run its water well in compliance with health codes, failed to disinfect the well property and failed to provide drinkable water to its customers.

If the town doesn't clean up its act, the state health officer could fine the system $333 per day for each day the water supply isn't in compliance, the administrative notice said.

The town was already on notice that it had to improve its system, but it hadn't been under the threat of fines. Tuesday's action is a formal notice against the utility, and includes an order that the well be operable by Friday.

"LDH Engineering Services is taking this enforcement action to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations for public water supplies to protect public health from potential exposure to contaminated drinking water," the agencies said in a statement.

Interim State Health Officer Dr. Pete Croughan said the goal is to lift an ongoing boil advisory in a timely fashion. 

“This administrative order provides the Town of Killian with a concrete plan to return the system to the state it was in before the boil water advisory was issued on April 23," the Health Department said. "LDH will continue to work with Town officials to perform bacteriological sampling to ensure safeguards are in place to prevent contamination of drinking water.”

LDH Engineering Services said it has been taking samples from the distribution system and said multiple recent tests were found to be negative for total coliforms. Total coliforms are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other bacteria may be present.

The Health Department letter said the Killian Water System had 333 seervice connections serving 999 people. 

By Wednesday, the town must provide the state with a copy of a recent well driller inspection report. By Friday, it must return the well to its original operating condition and ensure that it is disinfected. 

The town has 20 days to appeal. 

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