Vernon Parish resident worried about the safety of her drinking water

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - A concerned Vernon Parish resident says she is speaking out for several people in her community when she says they don’t trust their drinking water.

“If it’s not brown, it’s over-chlorinated to the point of your eyes burning in the shower,” Patricia Burnett, a Ward 4 Water consumer, said. “But the last straw came when a brand new shirt was stained beyond repair.”

This comes after the Ward 4 Water company in Vernon Parish put a new well in the Pickering/Savage Forks area. However, board members of Ward 4 Water believe the water is safe for consumption.

“We passed every test,” Susan Redmond, the board president for Ward 4 Water, said.

Redmond says the brown water is a result of the PH and magnesium levels being off. Recently, the company had to put a new device called a caustic injector on their main well. The device raises the PH levels of well water, but Redmond says that combined with their new well sent the PH and magnesium levels haywire.

“It’s still not too high,” Redmond said. “We pass all of our tests. It just gives the water an ugly color.”

Also, Milton Midkiff, the field supervisor for Ward 4 Water, says the state requires them to put chlorine in the water.

“I got to inject it,” Midkiff said. “There’s no way around it.”

However, a person living close to a well is more likely to receive a strong whiff of chlorine. Despite allegations, Ward 4 Water remains adamant that all of its numbers are passable.

“I am proud that we as a community have come together and started making some progress,” Burnett said.

Burnett said after contacting several elected officials and water organizations, she is finally starting to see progress.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to address the issue,” Redmond said.

Ward 4 Water holds a monthly meeting every second Tuesday of the month, and they are open to the public.

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