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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Officials claim water is safe but refuse to take a sip

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SLAUGHTER- Over the past 24 hours, brown water began pouring out of some taps in East Feliciana Parish. Despite having nasty and murky water coming out of faucets, officials claim the water is safe and no boil order is required.

Artis Cain has spent his entire life in East Feliciana Parish. He said yesterday, he began noticing black water coming out of his faucets.

"I thought it was blood," Cain said.

Tonight, toilets in Cain's home also tainted with that water, and he can't use his tubs or sinks.

"It's frustrating because I had to bathe in bottled water last night," Cain said.

Cain and others aren't satisfied with the answers and the lack thereof from the East Feliciana Water System.

After calling all day and getting nothing but a busy signal, we showed up to the East Feliciana Water System to get answers about the brown water. We were shocked at what they told us.

After waiting for nearly 30 minutes the President of the Water System, Richard King showed up, along with the Executive Director Melissa Sanders. They blamed a fire hydrant that was opened improperly by the Fire Department and knocked some sediment loose in the pipes. They claim the water is safe.

WBRZ asked if a boil advisory was issued.

"There's no need for a boil advisory," Sanders said.

Leaving Cain's home we managed to bottle up a little bit of his water to show water company leaders.

We offered them a sip.

"No Sir, I will not," Sanders replied.

King also refused to drink it, despite telling residents it's safe.

Tonight, those answers aren't good enough for the residents who called the leadership over the Water System inept.

"It's unacceptable," Cain said.

Water System leaders said a sample was taken by the State today, but those results are not back yet.

We checked with the State Department of Health. They said they would not want to drink that water. Health leaders added, the color may not mean it's unsafe.

The following statement was issued, "Boil water advisories are typically triggered when there is a loss of pressure in the system or other possibility of bacterial contamination in drinking water. Loss of pressure often times occurs due to a pipe break, loss of power, or routine maintenance.  Other times, a water system may not be able to adequately treat the water and a BWA will be issued as a precautionary measure.  A BWA is not released until a water system has made corrective actions to fix the problem and also test the water to confirm there is no bacterial contamination."


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