Water District 3’s odor problems ‘98% corrected’

Deidre Cruse

The odor problem Water District No. 3 customers’ have experienced since Hurricane Gustav is “98 percent corrected,” Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said Monday.

“The water quality of Water District 3 is finally improved almost to 100 percent,” Ourso said. “Anybody who says it ain’t improved can call Channel 2.”

Ourso, himself a customer of the water district, said turbulence from the storm stirred up debris in the Intracoastal Waterway from which the district draws its drinking water supplies. The debris sapped oxygen from the waterway, killing fish, which in turn produced ammonia, he said.

Having the locks closed at Bayou Sorrel during the high water and the damage to the Sorrel Bridge after the storm had compounded the problem, the parish president said.

He said he met last week with Lockmaster Brad Blanchard, who was opening the locks every hour, as if there were a boat going through, to allow fresh water to flow through.

“As far as the drinking water, the mixture of water from the river has knocked out a lot of the smell,” he said.