The following was released by the Louisiana Department of Health:
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The City of Mamu received a $ 5 million loan from the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF) program, a division of the Louisiana Department of Public Health’s Directorate of Public Health, to improve its water supply and ensure drinking water quality for local residents. clients.
The city is using funds to install two new groundwater wells, a new water treatment plant with filters and softeners, a new water storage tank, new automatic water meters and more than 3,000 linear feet of new pipeline.
“It’s high time we fix the water problems in the city. This funding will enable us to improve water quality for our residents and reduce the costs associated with our sewage treatment plant, ”said Mayor Ricky Fontenot.
Mayor Fontenot noted that 1,800 water consumers in the system are currently paying a flat rate of $ 22 per month. Under the improved dosing system, customers will pay according to their water consumption. He said system managers have yet to define a usage level for residential and business customers.
“We want to offer the most affordable rate that also allows us to pay bills and plan for maintenance and growth,” he said.
David Hidalgo, a project engineer at Aucoin and Associates, Inc., said the new properties are being built on a seven-acre stretch of land near the stadium that the city bought last year.
The two new water wells will pump 800 gpm each and replace three old wells adjacent to the site; the new above ground storage tank will hold 125,000 gallons of water and provide additional storage capacity for the system in addition to the existing 300,000 gallon tank. A new water treatment plant will also be built on the site, in which softeners and filters will be installed to improve the quality of drinking water.
“Current wells come out of the Evangeline aquifer, which provides water that does not respond well to chlorine treatment. The new wells will have access to water in the Shiko aquifer, which will produce higher quality water for our system, ”Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo said the city will keep the existing well on Hackberry Avenue as an emergency reserve. The new site is also installing a 150-kilowatt natural gas generator to power pumps and treatment facilities in the event of a power outage.
The City of Mamu and the Louisiana Department of Health closed the DWRLF loan on May 27, DWRLF Program Manager Joel Mackenzie said. He noted that the city of Mamu is eligible for a $ 200,000 pardon as part of the government’s Unhappy Systems Initiative, which promotes projects that directly address administrative issues. The remaining loan amount will be subject to low interest rates.
McKenzie also said that parts of the project were deemed compliant with the EPA’s Green Project Initiative, as the improvements would lead to significant improvements in the efficiency of the water system.
“The Revolving Drinking Water Loan Fund provided Mama City with an affordable way to improve the local drinking water infrastructure,” McKenzie said. “We are very pleased to be a part of this project.”
Mayor Fontenot said drilling of new wells and construction of a new treatment plant had begun. At the same time, automatic meters are being installed in customer homes and businesses.
“We plan to lay new pipelines this summer and complete all projects by the end of the year,” he said.
“It will benefit our citizens,” said Mayor Fontenot. “This is what we have been trying to do for over 20 years now, and it is finally coming true. We are thrilled with the quality water we can deliver and the cost savings that we believe the automated metering system will help provide. ”
Congress established government revolving drinking water loan programs in 1996 as part of amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is co-funded by an annual grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and individual member states (20 percent). In Louisiana, it is run by the LDH Public Health Authority.
“Safe drinking water is fundamental to public health, and this program is helping communities across Louisiana to keep water as safe as possible without creating an undue burden of costly funding,” said Louisiana Department of Health Chief Engineer Amanda Ames.
Ames said the loans made under this program are low-interest and have maturities of up to 30 years. Both public and private public and non-commercial, non-public water supply systems are eligible to apply for loans. As the systems pay back loans, principal and interest are being used to make more money available to other communities in need of drinking water.
Ames said all loan projects are approved based on a priority ranking system. Among other factors, projects that address the most serious risks to human health and projects that ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Law are given the highest priority.
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