SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One week after winter storms ravaged Shreveport’s water system, service has been restored across the city.
“Exhilarating to have water finally,” said West Shreveport resident Kem Brown.
“One of the neighbors called me, she says, ‘You got water?’ I say, ‘Yeah!’ I mean, it was exciting. Everybody calling everybody saying you got water? You got water?” said LaDonna Johnson, another resident of West Shreveport, which was hit particularly hard by the outages.
“First of all, we had our power go out for us about ten hours earlier in the week. And then shortly after that, the water went out and it was out for about a week,” said Brown.
“I drew some water in my bathtubs and stuff, so I was able to flush that way and was going out buying water, trying to get some that were free to cook with, drink, and everything,” said Johnson.
Shreveport Director of Water and Sewerage William Daniel says the major delay in getting water to people was the water system itself was not as full as they thought.
“When we started filling it up, we were very surprised that it was much emptier than we that it was, and so we ramped up our water production at the plant,” said Daniel. “We normally probably make 40 to 45 million gallons a day and we were making 65 million gallons a day.”
Other delays were due to leaks and pipes bursting.
“We probably repaired 80 main water break lines, but I also think that we have turned off like 800 water meters, either we saw the break in the line or people reported breaks in lines and we went and shut off the water where business who had backflow preventer valves that were leaking.”
Daniel believes everyone in the city should have water now. And while they prepared for the storm as best as they could, he plans to make recommendations to the mayor to be better prepared in the future.
“That we get some pressure sensors that we can read remotely, that we upgrade our SCADA at different locations, that we have emergency generators at our water booster pumps. That information will allow us to make better decisions.”
SCADA stands for “supervisory control and data acquisition,” which is made up of a network of computers that display data and allow monitoring of complex systems.
Daniel says the boil advisory could be lifted by Saturday at the latest.