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Opelousas City Council Announce Plans to Improve Water Quality

The Opelousas City Council announced plans to improve the city's water and sewer systems, following a nearly three-hour meeting.
Posted at 10:19 PM, May 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 23:19:38-04

After years of boil advisories and complaints over water quality, residents in Opelousas can expect to see some improvements.

After a nearly three-hour meeting on Tuesday, the city council voted in favor of increased water and sewer rates for residents, in an effort to improve the water plant.

Mayor Julius Alsandor said the water plant has been running since 1997 and the city recently acquired a low-interest loan to fund the improvements.

"We have not failed any state testing as it pertains to the quality of water," Alsandor said. "We do have some improvements, a tremendous amount of improvements that need to be made at our plant itself."

Ray Ray Ayash, is a father of two children and a resident in Opelousas. Ayash said it's time to prioritize the water crisis and help improve the quality of life for people who live in the city.

"Lately, it hasn't been clear water," Ayash said. "It's been brown and yellow water, but as long as they are going to increase the price for better water, that will be good."

Over the next three years, the city council approved a gradual increase for all Opelousas residents and commercial property owners' water and sewer bills.

Angela Richard said she has been living in Opelousas all of her life and she doesn't drink the faucet water because of it's quality.

"It doesn't make no sense because we're already buying more water, bottles of water because I don't like to drink the water from Opelousas because half the time it's brown," Richard said.

Water and sewer rates are not the only expected changes for Opelousas.

Chief Graig "Twin" LeBlanc announced OPD will have access to a new, contact-less, speeding camera system, designed to encourage more drivers to slow down.

LeBlanc said according to a recent study, 60 percent of drivers in Opelousas were found speeding in a school zone, traveling faster than 10 miles per hour.

"I don't think people understand the devastation that is caused to people that's involved in auto accidents and what auto accidents actually does to the body from the impact from the vehicles," LeBlanc said.