DHH awards $5.5 million to St. John the Baptist Parish for water system improvements

Photo provided by St. John the Baptist Parish Government
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 12:20pm

The Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health has awarded $5.5 million to the St. John the Baptist Waterworks Districts 1 and 2 through the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWRLF). The loan will help the system improve and update St. John Parish's drinking water system.

"We are extremely excited to close on funding through the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund which will go toward new filters and a water line under the river," said St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom. "Both will create redundancy throughout the water system, while the parish takes advantage of 30 percent forgiveness of the loan's principal. This is an added value of the loan program that frees up parish funds for future projects."

The money will be used to implement several improvements to the Districts' aging drinking water systems. The improvements will take place in two phases. Phase one includes replacing valves at the system's elevated storage tanks, which will help maintain pressure in the system, adjustments and upgrades to the water intake structure at the Lions Pump Station, which will allow it to operate at full capacity year-round, and replacement of old filters at the Lions Treatment Plant to improve reliability and increase capacity. Phase 2, to be constructed at a later date, includes a water main beneath the Mississippi River to connect the Lions Water Treatment Plant on the east bank to the Edgard Water Treatment Plant on the west bank, which will provide a backup water supply to the west bank customers.

"This program gives local communities a source of dependable and affordable financing to bring their water treatment facilities up to the latest and most modern technology that keeps their residents safe and healthy," said Assistant Secretary for Public Health, J.T. Lane.

"These improvements assist the systems in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act and protecting public health," said Jennifer Wilson, program manager for the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund.

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