Expensive Water Problems - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Expensive Water Problems

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LEESVILLE, La. - According to the mayor, $25,000 a month is going down the drain. But as News Channel Five's Nolan Crane reports, that's just a drop in the bucket, compared to what it will cost to fix the problem.

When you drive around Leesville, you might notice a common problem that's just "standing around"-- standing water that comes from the towns old and broken pipes. It's a problem that keeps town crews busy.

"We get calls each and every day and we try to prioritize depending on how savior the leak is," says Director Cody Westlake.

"About half of everything we pump out of the aquifer we lose in leaks in our lines," says Mayor Robert Rose.

The lines are up to 70 years old, and it shows. The water that seeps through the pipes when people turn on the sink or take a bath costs the town $25,000 a month. That's a big reason why Mayor Robert Rose is applying for a $17million grant from the USDA to take care of the problem.

"It substantially rebuilds our water lines or replaces them, our treatment facilities, our wells, as well as restores our fire safety," says Mayor Robert Rose.

The people in Leesville we spoke with are happy that the mayor and city council are being proactive.

"I think it is a wonderful thing that the mayor would have the incentive to be able to try to help us get the money that will help us save that $25,000 a month," says Sheila Smith.

If Leesville receives the grant, more fire hydrants will be added and the existing fire hydrants will be repaired which Sheila says will help everyone.

"It will help your insurance rating by having more fire hydrants, they will be closer to your home, your fire rating for your insurance premiums will also be lowered," says Sheila Smith.

But until the grant is received, water leaks will still be found, and public work employees will be on call.

"Public works is here to assure the public we are diligent and repairing each and every job as quickly as possible," says Director Cody Westlake.

Mayor Rose and the city council have sent in their application for the $17 million grant and they are now waiting to hear from the USDA to find out if there request has been accepted, so there problems can be fixed.

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