Friday, August 8, 2014
To provide a broader understanding of current conditions and future challenges associated with all parish water systems, a workshop was held with Council members and the Water Infrastructure Committee appointed by Parish President Natalie Robottom. The committee presented its findings since being tasked with evaluating current and future options for a reliable and sustainable water system for parish residents. They also presented a plan for completing conceptual engineering for an alternate water source for LaPlace to meet current and future capacity, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital's regulations, reliability standards and accounts for operation and maintenance costs. New concerns facing the Lions Water Treatment Plant in Reserve will also be examined and the final report will consist of conceptual designs, estimated budgets and timelines for completion.
Council Chair Marvin Perilloux, Council members Lennix Madere, Larry Snyder, Cheryl Millet, Michael Wright and Jaclyn Hotard were in attendance, along with members of the St. John Water Infrastructure Committee, Parish President Robottom and Administrative Staff. "The workshop was informative and very productive, as the committee explained the challenges and opportunities faced with current systems and infrastructure. They addressed specific concerns regarding current and impending regulations, which has resulted in a recommended change of course in some areas," said President Robottom.
The Parish Water Infrastructure Committee includes representatives from parish Administrative staff, the Utilities Department, the Parish Engineer, Digital Engineering & Imaging Inc. and CDM Smith. The committee was charged with evaluating existing water systems and developing short, intermediate and long-range action plans. Within the last year, the Utilities Department has installed a 12-inch connection to the St. Charles Parish water system for emergencies, televised and inspected well casing of Well #2 at Ruddock, completed a pump replacement and pump rehabilitation at Well #2 in Ruddock, and replaced altitude valves at four elevated storage tanks. The Utilities Department is working on a second waterline connection on River Road in Reserve, which will allow for additional back-up during emergencies. "I am pleased with the outcome of the workshop and I look forward to continuing to work towards a reliable water system for St. John the Baptist Parish with the Water Infrastructure Committee," said Virgil Rayneri, Utilities Director and member of the Water Infrastructure Committee.
The path forward has been clarified and execution of a professional services agreement with Digital Engineering and Imaging, Inc. is on the Council meeting agenda for Tuesday night. The time of completion of this plan is four months from issuance of the Notice to Proceed. "The workshop was informative. I am pleased the Council was in attendance to get the information that was shared and understand that we have to do something with the water system to improve it," said Council Chair Marvin Perilloux.
Residents can view the presentation online here.