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Sulphur residents continue fighting for clearer water

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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Sulphur, LA (KPLC) - The ongoing fight for clearer water continues in Sulphur, as residents voiced more concerns at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

”Our citizens, and especially our children, are at risk,” resident Cynthia Robertson said. “Our water is not safe.”

Sulphur city officials are yet again in hot water at a city council meeting after residents said they are fed up with brown water.

“It needs to be addressed for the safety of our citizens and especially for our children,” Robertson said.

“My concern is about the water, naturally, and the damage that it’s doing to our children, our elderly and the disabled,” resident Katie Vincent said.

The city has consistently assured locals the water is safe and that it’s all hands on deck for replacing the city’s water system.

“We have completed the replacement of two filter vessels. We are expecting more filter vessels to come in until we have all eight replaced,” Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay said. “After that, we’ll start a pre-treatment system.”

Some worry these efforts may not be the solution they are looking for.

“I think it’s going to need much more than a new well and new filter vessel to clean up that copper and other stuff,” resident Markel Andrepont said.

Robertson has questions for both the Louisiana Department of Health and the city.

“LDH has a minimum reporting level on their website and our water tests above it. Then why is the city saying that they’re complying with all the things that the state requires?” Robertson said.

We reached out to LDH and they had the following:

LDH has received customer complaints regarding discolored water for residences and businesses primarily served from the E. Verdine water plant. Some residents utilized home test kits to analyze samples from residences and local schools, and expressed concerns with the results. Out of an abundance of caution, LDH conducted investigative sampling at two schools, E.K. Key Elementary School and Sulphur High School. The analysis was completed by LDH’s EPA-certified drinking water laboratory. The results of this testing and the letter issued to the schools, along with LDH’s recommendations, are located on our website at https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/3275.

Because of residents’ concerns, LDH moved up the City of Sulphur’s scheduled 2022 routine lead and copper monitoring to this year. Based on these 2021 routine tap lead and copper results, the City of Sulphur is in compliance with Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) action levels. Under the current LCR requirements, a water system is in compliance if no more than 10% of the samples exceed the action level. Out of the 30 total samples collected from the City of Sulphur, only one sample was above the lead action level (0.015 mg/L) and another sample was above the copper action level (1.3 mg/L). Under the current LCR, the water system is required to notify the consumer of the individual test results and how to reduce exposure to lead. The water system has collected a follow-up sample from the home with the elevated lead result and results are pending.

“We’ve been in contact with them continuously, and that they’ve informed us that the water situation, the water, is safe in Sulphur,” Danahay said.

Click HERE for a link to the test results done by the Louisiana Department of Health.

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