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Drinking water is an essential and with the Mississippi so low Plaquemines Parish is having to give out this needed item.

Plaquemines Parish officials are distributing cases of bottled water and bags of ice to residents, as saltwater moving up the Mississippi River continues to threaten their source of drinking water.  Water distribution started Nov. 2 and will continue until further notice, officials said, as part of Plaquemines’ emergency response to high levels of salt in the potable water supply.  The intrusion of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico results from this year’s unusually low river levels. Parish President Kirk Lepine declared an emergency Sept. 28, and the Army Corps of Engineers built an underwater sill in the river to block saltwater from reaching Plaquemines’ water treatment plants at Belle Chasse and Dalcour.  Residents and businesses between the Empire bridge and Venice are under a drinking water advisory, said Patrick Harvey, Plaquemines’ homeland security and emergency preparedness director.

The need now is more cosmetic as the taste is not good.

While treated water from the river is not a threat to most residents’ health, high levels of the chloride could affect the taste, odor and color of the water.  The Louisiana Department of Health recommends that people who live in the affected areas and are on dialysis or low-sodium diets, or those with high blood pressure or kidney diseases, check with their doctors before drinking from the Plaquemines water system.  Cases of bottled water and bags of ice are available to those affected by the advisory every day at from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Buras fire station, 35410 Plaquemines 11, and Boothville fire station, 42661 Louisiana 23. Each household is limited to three cases of water a day, Harvey said.  Visit the Plaquemines Parish website for more information. 

There is no end date as we need rain here and up river befor the levels will rise.

It’s not clear when the advisory will be lifted. Harvey said chloride levels will remain high until the river rises. Along with other efforts, Harvey said Plaquemines is working with the Corp of Engineers to install a reverse osmosis unit and filtration system at the Pointe-á-la-Hache water treatment plant. That would remove salt from the water supply and thus lower chloride levels, he said. The installation could take place within the coming week, but Harvey said an attempt to install another reverse osmosis unit elsewhere in the parish has faced several obstacles.

Glad we are farther up river but not that far in reality.

Plaquemines Parish giving out water