Ferriday breaks ground on new water system - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Ferriday breaks ground on new water system

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FERRIDAY, La. (KNOE 8 News) - After years of brown and inconsistent looking and tasting water, the town of Ferriday finally broke ground on its water improvement system.  

And big names, including U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu were there to commemorate the event. We spoke with some who made a trip from out of town just to hear Landrieu speak.

But many residents were there to show their support of this project that has taken so long to start. And one resident says the water is so bad no one will drink it. 

“Darker than sweet tea. I think everyone here drinks bottle water. I think everyone here has two water bills,” Emerson Slain said.  

 Slain said he spends about $50 a month on bottle water and Iron Out. Slain said he uses Iron Out in the washing machine with his clothes to keep them from staining.

'I would show you this white shirt I’m wearing, but I’m not going to do that," Slain said.  

Slain said the new water system will save him cash and help the community as a whole. He said projects, like a new Head Start Center, have been delayed until the water issue was solved.

And Mayor Gene Allen said the new water system should also bring in new business.

“Because the inconsistency of our water we were not able to land any type of industry or any small business related to the food industry. They were not able to come because the inconsistency of the water," Mayor Allen said.    

Right now, Ferriday gets its water from a nearby river and Mayor Allen said the water level and manganese of the river cause the town's water to look and taste like it does. But after this three phase project is complete, the town will have a new water source, new meters, and an upgraded treatment plant.

A grant is covering most of the cost. But water bills have increased to cover the rest forcing water customers to pay $12 more per month.

"I think once this plant is put down, once these wells are dug, once the plant is built, it’s going to save all of us a lot of money," Slain said.

We wanted to ask Senator Landrieu some key questions about her work in Washington and the upcoming election.  She agreed to speak with the media, but then dodged us on the way out saying she was late and didn't have time.

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