Town of Ferriday breaks ground on new water system - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Town of Ferriday breaks ground on new water system

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FERRIDAY, La. (KNOE 8 News)  – The Town of Ferriday today broke ground on long-awaited improvements to its water system. The balance of the $7 million, four-phase project consists of the installation of new water wells, a new water treatment plant, new meters and meter reading system.

“This is a wonderful day for the Town of Ferriday. For years, the quality of the Town’s water has plagued the citizens of Ferriday, and to finally see the fruit of all the administrations that have played a part in this very joyous occasion finally being sown is an emotional experience,” said Mayor Gene Allen. “Providing the citizens of Ferriday with such a vital sustenance has been my #1 goal as mayor, and to finally see it coming to fruition is an extremely rewarding feeling.”

Construction is complete on the new ground storage tank to charge the distribution system, the first phase of the project. The next phases consist of the automated meter reading project, water well improvements and water treatment facility improvements.

“No community in America should have to wait this long for clean drinking water. This is really a groundbreaking – literally and figuratively – for the Town of Ferriday,” said U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. “Clean water is about as basic as you can get. It’s really hard to develop an economic future for a town without that basic need. This town has been held back, not because the people are not willing to work hard – we have farmers here growing the best crops in the world, small businesses are working hard, you have great engineers, the great river. I’m happy to be a part of the leadership team that has secured the federal funding to bring this project forward. We are ready to launch an extraordinary effort here. While the budget in Washington is tight, we should always have enough money for clean water for Americans who work hard.”

The project was funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development by a $5 million grant and a $1.6 million loan, which has been approved by the Louisiana Bond Commission. The Town anticipates repaying the loan over 40 years and maintaining the new system through a minimal increase in rates, which went into effect last year.

“I have lived in Ferriday most of my life. We’ve gone through boil orders, water buffalos and countless ruined clothes. I look forward to having clean, consistent water, and to being able to drink it!“ said Shirley Cliburn, who also owns two businesses in the town.

According to project engineer Keith Capdepon of Bryant Hammett & Associates, LLC, the ideal choice for the town’s water treatment plant was to utilize the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer. “There is an abundance of water, and the wells can be put almost anywhere. The treatment process is recognized and relatively simple to operate. The proposed location ties in with existing infrastructure. The town already owns enough property on which to put the wells and the treatment plant. No rights of way will be required,” he said.

“I would like to extend a personal thanks to Bryant Hammett & Associates, the Ferriday Town Council, the local banks and bankers, Mr. Alan Offner, the USDA and all of the Town’s former mayors for their collective efforts in getting this project coordinated and funded. I wish to also acknowledge the countless hours of work that the employees of the Town of Ferriday endured with unwavering dedication to ensure that all information requested from our office was accurately provided,” said Mayor Allen.

“BH&A is proud to be part of this project, which is paramount to the advancement of the Town of Ferriday. I would like to recognize the collaboration that has made this project a reality, largely due to the hard work of Sen. Landrieu, the USDA and the Town of Ferriday,” said Bryant Hammett.

The final phase of the project, slated for completion in 2016, consists of the installation of an aeration system and sedimentation basins to remove the majority of the iron, a manganese greensand pressure filter system and a zeolite softening system. It is anticipated that the raw ground water will have approximately 9 parts per million iron, 0.5 ppm manganese, and 400 ppm hardness.

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