Testing underway after ‘unprecedented water crisis’ in Killian

KILLIAN — Water testing is currently underway in response to reports of discolored and contaminated water flowing through faucets in Killian.

The issue surfaced on Monday, April 22 and escalated on Tuesday, April 23, prompting Livingston Parish President Randy Delatte to declare a state of emergency due to what he termed an “unprecedented water crisis.”

“The declaration is a response to a critical failure in the water system, which poses a significant threat to the health and safety of area residents,” stated the parish president’s declaration.

On Wednesday, town officials announced that water samples had been collected from various locations and sent for testing. However, they acknowledged uncertainty regarding the source or nature of the problem.

Killian Alderman Brent Ballard reported on Tuesday that dirt and sand-like particles were first found on the west side of town Monday night. Town officials began flushing lines with no improvement, but the problem persisted and worsened with the poor water quality expanding on the east side.

With no identified secondary well or definitive source for the issue, the entire town is under a boil water advisory.

To address immediate needs, pallets of donated water are available at Killian Town Hall, with additional deliveries expected on Wednesday, officials confirmed.

Water woes

UWK has covered water problems in Killian extensively since 2023 after residents voiced frustrations to village officials over brown water. The problems have been so bad that many residents resorted to buying their own bottled water because they’re too scared to drink what’s coming from their faucets.

“It has just gotten to the point where our water is extremely nasty, Jessica Albarado, who lives on Austin St. in Killian, told UWK in 2023. “We have expressed that to the mayor, we have expressed that to the council and nothing is being done. We want answers.”

Albarado says that the water issues have been going on since she moved to Killian five years ago. In addition to the discolored water, she says pipes delivering water to homes are too small to get the job done. This has caused water pressure issues, a problem that worsened during winter freezes.

Residents say the water issues escalated in late November 2022 after Boondock Services, LLC. canceled their contract with Killian. The company informed village leaders that they no longer wanted to work with the town and newly elected mayor Ronald Sharp, Sr. 

The Killian board of aldermen said they unsuccessfully tried to bridge the divide between Boondock Services and Sharp.

“Since [Sharp has taken] over the water system, the condition of the water system and the quality of the water produced by the system have steadily declined in the opinion of the citizens of the town,” the board said in a statement about the problems.

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