RAYNE, La. — For decades and decades, equipment at the Rayne Water Treatment Plant did its job.
But the years add up, and things start to break down.
Folks around town started to see discolored water.
But now, upgrades have been done to the tune of $2.2 million.
And before the plant was built, it was all well water, often discolored well water.
The fact that what was old and unsightedly became new and unsightly didn't sit too well with Rayne residents of the year 20-21.
"Actually, this is better than it was before because we have filters now, we have more chemicals we can inject to keep the iron down," says Project Manager Brett Bayard. "But still, it was different than what they were expecting, what they were used to before; so obviously there were concerns with the tint of the water."
And why is the water discolored?
"It's simple chemistry," says Bayard: Chlorine plus Iron Equals Discoloration. "The reason we had color in the water is the iron content that is naturally in the well. Iron is not a major concern element from the EPA. It's something we try to control, mostly for color and for taste, but not for safety issues."
But the water clarifier has been replaced; ground water storage has been cleaned.
Old and rusty, stains of lime and iron, are gone.
There's a new generator that will be able to keep the system running even when hurricanes strike-- something Rayne wasn't able to avoid a year ago.
"It's gonna help them keep that water running around the clock."
The new system was activated Tuesday of this week.
Well water coming in, cleaned by lime, chlorine and other chemicals and going to Rayne's homes and businesses.
And while there will be some tweaks and adjustments and yes, possibly some discoloration appearing over the next couple months, plant operators say the water that's coming through is not harmful.
"That's gonna take some time to get it just right," adds Bayard. "Then you've got the water that's sitting in the ground storage tanks, sitting in the elevated storage tanks, already in the distribution system; all of that water needs to work its way through the system. But eventually they're going to see some clarity coming back."
So phase one is done, residents should feel better.
Phase two is coming up; they're going to flush out the whole distribution system, with over 120 miles of pipe going to be flushed out.
Sometime in the fall, the water in Rayne ought to be exactly where it needs to be.
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