Mansura mayor blames utility company for water problems

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MANSURA, La. (KALB) - The Town of Mansura is concerned about the condition of the water system. Mayor Kenneth Pickett has even gone as far to send out a letter blaming the provider, Louisiana Water Company (LAWCO) for the issue.

Source: KALB

"You can obviously see the color of it,” explained Mayor Pickett as he held up a bottle of brown-tinted water. “This is what is in our system. The residents complain about brown and trashy water. And I’m concerned about health issues as well."

They are issues he claimed have been going on since before he took office, twelve years ago.

"This has been an ongoing problem for years now,” said Pickett. “And they say long term effects with TTHMs."

He's referring to trihalomethanes (TTHMs), which is just a big word for the compounds very commonly found in water that has been disinfected. In recent studies in Mansura the amount has been higher than usual which could cause some concern.

"It's obvious what they (LAWCO) were doing, that they weren't investing in their infrastructure,” stated Pickett. “They were more concerned about their profit as opposed to actually investing in their infrastructure."

So we called LAWCO and spoke to President W. E. Edrington. He declined an interview, but he told us the water is absolutely safe and that high TTHMs usually come from older water systems.

He also said LAWCO is making efforts to work with the town on solutions to the high levels. One of those would be buying water from the Avoyelles Water Commission (AWC) during the months when the levels would be the highest.

Mayor Pickett said he was in favor of the switch, and so were his residents. They would only costing them an additional $5.75 on their monthly bills.

"They just wanted to get on this new water system that was put into place for municipalities such as us," said Pickett.

But AWC said the idea wasn't possible, so LAWCO thought of making improvements to the Mansura system itself, which would bring that additional $5.75 up to $9.

But Pickett said that's too much to ask his residents to pay.

"They can't pass it on to the town,” expressed Pickett. “They should take on the responsibility of the additional cost."

Regardless, LAWCO said it’s still working to improve the system, recently conducting tests that could potentially pull the TTHMs out of the water. If successful, Edrington said any future use would only cost the town only an additional $4 on their monthly bill.

But Mayor Pickett is hoping it gets resolved soon, before this dripping issue turns into a flood of a problem.

"We need to bring this wherever it needs to go until we get a response,” said Pickett. “Because we don't want to have a Flint, Michigan issue here in Mansura."

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