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Contributing Writer

Corrective measures have been put in place in order for the City of Opelousas to comply with sanitary water system deficiencies discovered in July by a Louisiana Department of Health inspection, according to Mayor Julius Alsandor.

Some of those improvements however, are expected to be eventually put in place with a costly price tag attached, Alsandor said.

In a letter sent to the city’s customers this week, Alsandor explained the city initially failed to timely contact LDH officials about several problems found after the state performed a detailed municipal water system inspection.

After being placed on notice by the state for failing to meet a deadline that establishes a plan of action approved by health officials, Alsandor said the city has corrected the issues found by the inspectors during the water quality evaluation.

Among the problems solved Alsandor noted are repairs made to the fences on a well at the Guidry Street power plant, upgrades for security at the Med South Reservoir and the preparation for a water system improvement plan that addresses possible issues at the city water plant.

Preparation and implementation of the water improvement plan is expected to cost between $15 and $25 million, Alsandor explained in the letter.

“We also have a trained, certified Louisiana Department of Health consultant and operator that (the city has hired) to elevate and improve our water system,” Alsandor wrote. 

Alsandor also wrote that at this point city water is safe to drink and there is no emergency situation to consider.

“There is nothing you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours,” Alsandor said in the letter.

Alsandor added the city has not recently detected any evidence or contamination or other health threats related to the city’s source water.

Each month, the LDH extracts at least two water samples that are tested for bacteria and water quality, said Alsandor.