DHH continues to advise Donaldsonville residents to not drink water after on-site visit

DHH continues to advise Donaldsonville residents to not drink water after on-site visit

DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Residents in Donaldsonville are still urged not to drink the water by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).

DHH first put out the health alert to not drink or cook with water until further notice Tuesday night. The agency said that residents were okay to bathe in the water.

On Wednesday, DHH was able to verify that chloride dioxide, an EPA-approved water treatment disinfectant, was no longer being used by the Peoples Water System of Donaldsonville.

DHH said that there was still a chlorine dioxide by-product in the water system. The agency conducted testing to figure out how much of the by-product is still in the water.

"Today, I still have more questions than answers," said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer. "The water system has been unable to satisfactorily answer our questions as to why their self-generated test reports that had chlorine dioxide levels above the EPA standard were not reported to us. I am also concerned that the system cannot demonstrate any actions they took when they learned of these levels."

DHH also found out Wednesday that the water system also used another disinfectant, chloramine, to treat the water.

The state agency is waiting for the test results from Wednesday before deciding the next step. However, Peoples Water System will be required to send a water treatment plan to DHH. The plan, which will have to address the treatment techniques, will be reviewed and approved by the agency.

DHH is putting together violation notices and an administrative order, which will establish compliance timelines for the water system and the penalties if compliance is not achieved, to address its findings.

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