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Killian, Livingston Parish running out of money, seeking state help as water crisis prolongs

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KILLIAN — The Village of Killian's water was cut off last week. On Thursday, after more than a week of trying to restore water to the village, parish funding has also dried up, leaving them to call on the state for help.

The parish can no longer afford to bring in trucks with water to resupply. This costs about $30,000 a day, Livingston Parish President Randy Delatte said.

"Our parish doesn't have the resources to sustain this. We need state help," Delatte said.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to comment about their response to Delatte's call for help.

Delatte said the state has been there directing aid but is making a plea for state and even federal funds.

"I do need money three months down the road to repair this, but I need money tomorrow to keep this water coming in, so the people won't be without water," he said.

The parish government has placed 97,500 gallons of potable water in Killian's reservoir. Based on the parish's estimates, the town is consuming around 5,700 gallons per hour. But residents still can't drink this water. No matter what is wrong with the water system, it will likely be a while until clean drinking water is restored.

"Currently, what we think the problems are going to be when we get in there is possibly a busted casing or a damaged screen," District 8 Councilman Dean Coates said.

Crews are expected to continue work around 7 p.m. Thursday night.

In the meantime, residents are being asked to conserve their water usage.

One resident, Jathryn Buchannan, expressed appreciation for the assistance being provided to the town, but also expressed that their issues seemed to go beyond the well.

"Our water's better right now because the parish brought us tanker trucks, but we don't know that the problems are always at the well," Buchannan said. "We could have really bad water here, and the next street over can be fine. They can have terrible water, and ours is perfectly fine. I don't think the issue is just a well."

On Wednesday, teams made progress in diagnosing the problem with Killian's water supply by sending cameras into the reservoir. WBRZ reported that dirt, sand and other sediment worked their way into the system, leaving the one-well town without clean water.

Volunteers have also donated cases of water for the town of 1,221 to use. The water is available at Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Killian's mayor and Livingston Parish President Randy Delatte have declared states of emergency.

"Every drop saved makes a difference in ensuring a sustainable water supply for our community," the Livingston Parish Government posted on its Facebook page Thursday.

However, the inconsistency still worries residents at the end of the day.

"We're used to not being able to drink our water, but to not know if we can bathe or water our plants, that's a little concerning," Buchannan said.

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