Bossier City mayor credits ongoing maintenance, public utility crews for recovery of water system after winter storms

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker credits the city’s public utility crews, ongoing replacement of older water lines, and a newer water system for a relatively quick recovery from last week’s winter storms.

“We are the first major water operating system in North Louisiana to achieve this capability to eliminate the boil advisory and we’re very proud of that,” Walker said in a brief news conference Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s unlikely we will experience a weather phenomenon in any short period of time, but then we get 100-year floods about every other year now, so you never can tell, but we have done a lot of work, preparatory to this, by having the relatively new water system and I’ve been with the city over 30 years now, but I remember ever since I’ve been here, we have attacked those underground lines found those old concrete pipes, those old steel pipes that have been deteriorating, and have been replacing them systematically over the years. So a lot of the stuff that’s underground that bothers a lot of communities, we have systematically, over the years, eliminated those.”

The mayor said the city will continue to replace older lines as they deteriorate, and take what they learned from this weather event, “and make certain that should this happen again or when it happens again, we have a much better feel for all the places out in the field we need to check.”

The boil advisory that had been in effect since last Wednesday when extreme winter weather brought frigid temperatures that lasted for days was lifted at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Water line breaks and extreme demand on the system as customers ran faucets during freezing temperatures caused the system’s water pressure to drop down to about 30 pound-force per square inch (PSI), prompting the precautionary system-wide boil advisory.

On Monday, Walker said the system had recovered enough to provide an emergency supply for Barksdale Air Force Base and hospitals in Shreveport, but the boil advisory remained in place until test results came back from the Louisiana Department of Health lab in Baton Rouge.

The boil advisory included customers of the Cypress Black Bayou Water System, the Town of Benton Water System, and the Country Place Water System, since they purchase water from Bossier City. Any boil advisories issued by those systems remain in effect until samples can be tested.

According to Public Utilities Director Ben Ben Rauschenbach, the town of Benton pulled water samples Wednesday and hope to get results back within the next 24 hours.

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