Errors, oversight led to District 9 water notices

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I live just outside the southern city limits of Sulphur and am connected to the Carlyss water system. Every year we receive

an annual report of water testing results, and frequently we receive notices during the year letting us know that certain

tests have not been run.

The latest notification was for the period Oct. 1-31, 2013. Residual chlorine was not monitored because there were no samples

collected to run this test.

Prior

to that, in Oct. 1-31, 2009, the coliform bacteria level was over the

acceptable limit. April 1-June 30, 2009, the waterworks

district did not monitor for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids

and can therefore offer no determination on the quality

of the drinking water. The list goes on.

Is this a common problem elsewhere in the parish? Is the problem with equipment that does not consistently catch the samples?

Or is this a problem with employees? Who do the water districts answer to?

Alice Webb, director of Ward 4

Waterworks District 9, said the quality of the water has never really

been in doubt. The violations

that led to the notices, she said, resulted from administrative

oversight and operator error.

The district does monitor chlorine residual levels, Webb said. But the state required district officials to send customers

a notice because an operator had failed to list a chlorine residual amount on a form, she said.

The state required the notices on the

trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids — byproducts of the disinfection

process — because

the district was only using two samples to monitor for the

compounds when, because of the system’s recent growth, it should

have been using four, Webb said.

The coliform bacteria notice, she said, resulted because an operator inadvertently contaminated a sample.

Public water systems in Louisiana are regulated by the state Department of Health and Hospitals, and Webb said that “they’re

really strict.”

The Informer checked the DHH’s online Drinking Water Watch database — https://sdw.oph.dhh.la.gov/DWW — and found similar records

of violations for other parish waterworks districts.

The water districts, like other special service districts, are overseen by boards whose members are appointed by the Calcasieu

Parish Police Jury.

The District 9 board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at 4015 Sherry St. For more information, call the

district office at 583-2777.

Crawfish farmers get break on sales taxes

Do crawfish farmers have a tax exemption in Louisiana?

Byron Henderson, spokesman for the state Department of Revenue, said that R.S. 47:301 allows farmers to buy machinery and

equipment free of sales tax. Additionally, R.S. 47:305 exempts crawfish farmers from state sales tax on bait and feed.

Online: www.rev.state.la.us.

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.