St. Amant homeowners petition for new water system

ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - Some homeowners in Ascension Parish are circulating a petition to have their water system replaced. They said brown water pours from their faucets at least twice a month.

When you draw a bath you expect to see clean, clear water. Same thing when you wash your dishes or do the laundry. While the water, on Thursday, appeared that way, people who live in the Bayou Estates subdivision said it is not always that way.

"My water has turned Coke brown," Cortnie Leodler said.

"Rotten eggs. That's what it smells like, rotten eggs," Melissa Miller said.

"It used to be once, maybe twice, a year and now it seems like every month you're fighting this stuff," Leroy Robert said.

Homeowners started documenting what they said is happening inside their homes. They have captured videos of filthy water coming from their tubs and sinks. Their pictures show stained tubs, toilets and even dishwashers. Melissa Miller said the brown water has even stained her laundry.

"It won't come out. I bleached it. It is ruined," Miller said.

After spotting brown ice in their freezers, many of them signed up for bottled water service.

Their main water supply comes from Diversion Water Company. Residents said their complaints about the brown water are being ignored.

"I called and they told me they are working on it," Miller said.

"It seems like the worse it gets the less communication we have with them," Robert said.

9News took the brown ice to Diversion Water Company. The owner, Parrish Valega, was not available to do an on camera interview, but did answer our questions over the phone.

Valega said while the water is not visually appealing it is safe to drink. He said he has the water tested for chlorine daily and for bacteria monthly. He added, that the Department of Health and Hospitals has cleared the water system of any health concerns.

Valega shared with 9News a letter that he said he sent to his customers on Wednesday. In it he apologizes for the problems and days the "dirty" water that some customers have experienced. He said it is caused by a sediments like iron detaching in the old pipes. He said it happens when the pressure changes.

He added, workers have installed two flush hydrants in the Bayou Estates subdivision and that the system will be flushed within the next few weeks. He said that will fix the problem.

Homeowners are not so sure.

"I'll keep brushing my teeth with bottled water and buying bottled water every month. I don't trust it," Leodler said.

"It's just frustrating and it's time to stop it," Robert said.

Valega said there are no plans to replace the water system.

DHH confirms Diversion Water is in compliance with its standards.

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