Feb 27, 2014 5:21 AM by AP (Photo courtesy MGN Online)
Louisiana's Office of Public Health is lending Jefferson Parish $3.5 million to replace water mains with bigger ones and make other improvements to the water system near Waggaman.
Fire hydrants, valves, fittings, meters and service lines also will be replaced.
The Department of Health and Hospitals says the changes will boost water pressure, keep the system in compliance with state and federal regulations, and provide additional capacity.
The low-interest loan comes from a federal program passed in 1996. The Environmental Protection Agency provides an annual grant and the state puts in 20 percent of each year's total.
A separate grant in fiscal 2012 lets the state forgive up to $1.1 million of each loan. A news release says that will cover $1 million of the loan to Jefferson's water department.