St. Landry

Mar 25, 2011 11:33 PM by Shawn Kline

"Drink rain water," man says after arsenic scare

Nearly 200 homes in St. Landry Parish have clean water for the first time since they discovered high levels of arsenic in their well water.
They say it's just a short-term fix until they have a pipe built but there could be more options.

On Friday, it was a line right out of the nursery rhyme about "Jack and Jill."
Residents didn't go up a hill, but they're back to fetching pails of water.

"This is our band-aid to fix our problem," Sabrina Ellis of St. Landry's Water District 5 said.

The problem, Ellis says is high levels of arsenic found in some private wells outside Melville.
St. Landry Parish scrounged-up some funds to supply two 300-gallon tanks for residents to use until they get connected to the water system in nearby Krotz Springs. That project would be funded by a grant.

"They said that we're eligible for it." Ellis says, "but there's no money."

"We're talking about putting up hundreds of thousands to low millions to service (a few) families." Parish resident Tony Adrian says, "at least give them the option."

This option, Adrian says comes right from the sky. Adrian uses filtered rain water.
He says some counties in Texas already use this system and it comes at half the cost of municipal pipelines.

"They pulled it off." He says, "and they did it because they saved money and they gave people a better product."

But for now, it's just an idea. Residents along Kim Drive in Melville will have to rely on the Parish's newest purchases: two 300-gallon trailers.

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