Test results confirm bacteria in Killian water well | Boil advisory continues as tanks provide temporary relief

KILLIAN — Livingston Parish officials say test results from the state show the water well in Killian tested positive for bacteria.

“This morning, May 9, we received the results from Louisiana Department of Health regarding our sample results. The sample collected directly from the well tested positive for bacteria (Total Coliform),” said Livingston Parish President Randy Delatte in a news release.

This emergency requires the well to be taken offline. During this process the well will have to be scrubbed, cleaned, chlorinated for a minimum of 24-48 hours, and new health samples to be collected. If bacteria is present the process will have to be repeated until clear of bacteria. This process will take a minimum of 14 days to complete.

Also, while the well is down the ground storage tank will have to be cleaned, pressure washed, brushed, scrubbed, and chlorinated twice. Additionally, we will have to replace the well discharge fittings, flow meter, install a bypass for temporary water trucks, and new pipe stands.

While all work is being conducted, we must remain on portable potable water due to the towns only water source will be out of service.

Parish President Randy Delatte has exhausted all funding from the Parish, and is currently working with multiple avenues to acquire necessary funding.

The Town of Killian will remain on a boil water advisory until further notice.

How did Killian get here?

Livingston Parish officials made an urgent plea to Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry and other state officials for assistance in addressing the water crisis in Killian weeks ago. The entire village was out of water on Wednesday, May 1, and residents have been under a boil water order for over two weeks.

Parish President Randy Delatte has deployed 6,000-gallon tankers to provide water to residents, but this is proving to be both costly and time-consuming.

“Our parish and our local leaders have banded together to fight this,” Livingston Parish councilman Dean Coates told UWK. “We’re trying to get our state counterparts to partner with us. This is a very, very dire situation.”

  • killian water well

Coates emphasized that the parish is incurring approximately $30,000 in expenses daily to supply water to Killian residents, a burden that cannot be sustained. He is advocating for the governor to allocate state resources to address the issue.

“We’re waiting for money to fix the well,” he said. “We don’t even have enough water pressure to fight fires or anything. The other thing is we have people who have medical needs within the town, and they might be on some sort of medical equipment that’s going to need clean water. So we definitely don’t want to put them in harm’s way.”

Last week, Killian Mayor Ronald Sharp, Sr., and Delatte declared a state of emergency for Killian. However, for state funds to be directed toward resolving the problem, Landry and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness must also declare the state of emergency, which has not yet occurred.

Clean water has been a problem in Killian for several months and reached a fever pitch on April 22 when residents began reporting black, greasy water and water containing sand and dirt particles. The situation worsened the following day, prompting Delatte to describe it as an “unprecedented water crisis.”

Coates explained that crews are diligently working to identify the root cause of the problem. They have extracted piping from the well and installed a submersible pump to extract water. Additionally, cameras are being deployed into the well to pinpoint the source of the issue.

Officials currently suspect that either a damaged screen or casing on the well is responsible for the problem.

Killian Mayor Pro Tem Brent Ballard estimates the cost of installing a new well to be approximately $4.5 million based on various estimates. During this process, storage tanks will be cleaned, lines flushed, and efforts will be made to install an additional well to ensure a sustainable water supply for the town.

Town officials are advising residents, particularly those with special needs or underlying health conditions, to remain patient and make necessary preparations.

Residents can collect two cases of water per person each day from Town Hall. For those unable to visit, contacting a town official will ensure water delivery to their homes.

“I encourage everyone to contact your state leaders and have them contact the governor’s office and just explain that we really need this. No one in the year 2024 should be drinking brown water. That’s unacceptable.”

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