Proposing a Solution
I live outside of a small town of 3,000 people. The water system of our small town supplies drinking water to a population of 3,000 to 5,000. Our water system has been in place for 20 plus years and neglect has been rampant for almost the same period of time. Public water systems are governed by regulations and monitored by the State of Louisiana. The Town of Ferriday has been under state mandated “boil orders” more times that you could count. One of the more recent events was when the State Inspectors arrived to conduct a regular inspection of the water treatment plant and found that a portion of the top of the water storage tank had collapsed and fallen in. The regulations state that potable water must be stored in such a way to prevent any contamination from outside sources. Inspectors found dead birds and debris in the town drinking water supply. National Guard supplied tankers that were placed all around town and filled with potable water from a nearby town. Our citizens were only able to get drinking water by bringing their own bottles or containers out and filling them at these tanker locations. This went on for months as a new water storage tank was constructed. The town had to bid the construction of the tank and argue about the companies’ bids, then finally award and construct the new tank. During all of this, the finger pointing was rampant and everyone blames someone else or the prior administration in the mayor’s office. There have been two mayors in the last 16 years. They just take turns being mayor. Needless to say each one has blamed the other for all of the issues that plagued our town and the water system is at the top of the list. The greatest issue is the location that our raw water comes from. Our water source is a pipeline placed in the bottom of a backwater lake connected to the Mississippi River. This source has caused many problems over the years. As the water level of the Mississippi River is low...
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