CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - The Town of Clinton’s water system is in full compliance with all safe drinking water standards, according to Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) spokesperson, Robert Johannessen.
On January 17, LDH cited Clinton and Mayor Lori Bell with 15 deficiencies on the town’s water wells and their maintenance. Of those, 12 items have been fixed per their latest deadline of April 17. Johannessen says Clinton officials asked for an extension on two particular items. They were denied extension for one and instead met the April 17 deadline, while they were granted an extension for one until May 1.
"That's to have a professional engineer on hand to do evaluation of the entire system and oversee whatever else needs to be done," said Johannessen.
The town has until the summer to fix things like the Taylor Street well, the flow meter at the Pine Ridge well, and provide paperwork showing they’re in compliance. The Pine Ridge well is currently the only operating well for the town.
“In a perfect world, there will be a back-up and there needs to be a back-up system, but right now, they don’t have that back up, but we have seen evidence that they are working to get the quotes and the system back up and online,” said Johannessen.
The Taylor Street well is currently offline. The latest quote to the city to completely fix the well is $43,595. Clinton has until July 31 to get the Taylor Street well up and running. Mayor Bell says they’re working diligently to continue meeting all required deadlines. She added that on Wednesday, April 24, crews would be at the Taylor Street well. The cost of the well is what has kept the Fiscal Review Committee from ordering that someone other than the mayor take over the town’s finances. The question still remains if Clinton can afford to pay for the required maintenance for the Taylor Street well. That will be up to the committee.
“...the system is in total compliance. The drinking water is of quality that we require. They are in compliance for all drinking water standards,” said Johannessen, which is what he said they wanted when they issued the administrative order.