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Customers<span class= of Waterworks District 3 who have another resident living on their property but are only using one meter have two options: they must purchase another meter or install a device that prevents pollution in the general water system. (Special to the American Press)
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Customers of Waterworks District 3 who have another resident living on their property but are only using one meter have two options: they must purchase another meter or install a device that prevents pollution in the general water system. (Special to the American Press)

Some in Beauregard may be forced to buy new water meters

Last Modified: Monday, January 06, 2014 12:02 PM

By Lauren Manary / American Press

Some Beauregard Parish residents may soon be forced to spend hundreds of dollars in order to be in compliance with their local water district.

Customers of Waterworks District 3 who have another resident living on their property but are only using one meter have two options: they must purchase another meter or install a device that prevents pollution in the general water system. The district, which serves the southeastern part of the parish, recently sent letters to customers, stating they had 90 days to comply.

Ragley resident John Morris said both options are simply unreasonable.

“I could understand if they gave us six months or nine months,” he said. “But three is just unreasonable.”

According to Jeremy Joffrion, the assistant field superintendent for the waterworks district, the body has identified some 304 customers that would be affected by the policy. Many of those affected were people who had family members or friends move a trailer onto the property, but still used one meter for the water. He said the Department of Health and Hospitals has asked that the district begin enforcing the policy.

“What I’ve been telling everybody is ‘don’t shoot the messenger’,” said Joffrion. “Because that’s all we are.”

Morris said he has lived at his residence for two years, with his stepson moving a trailer on his property later. He recently received a letter that gave him 30 days from Jan. 1 to either purchase a new meter or install a backflow prevention device. He said he will be installing the meter as it will be cheaper in the long run, although more costly upfront.

The backflow prevention device, Joffrion said, will require installation by a master plumber with specific certifications and the device must be inspected yearly. The yearly inspection costs anywhere from $120 to $240.

Should customers fail to comply, Joffrion said, the waterworks district has the right to terminate water service.

According to Ken Pastorick, a Public Information Officer with the Department of Health and Hospitals, the state conducts surveys of water systems both residential and commercial. In Jan. 2013, he said, DHH engineering services cited the waterworks district for failure to comply with its cross-connection violations and is working closely with DHH to correct the deficiencies.

Pastorick said this regulation helps to prevent contamination in the event of significant stress being put on the water system. He said contaminants can be drawn into the potable water system through unsafe connections of premise plumbing systems with non-potable water or chemicals, contaminating water in both the premise plumbing system and the public water system.

Posted By: Gary Coriell - Moss Bluff On: 1/9/2014

Title: I don't live in Beauregard Parish, but...

... how will the addition of a second water meter prevent pollution (backflow) into the public water system, and if it will, then why won't the existing meter accomplish the same thing?

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