The City of Sulphur is asking its citizens to act responsibly when it comes to using water. They've enforced a citywide water restriction. Mayor Chris Duncan says because of a water main break, the levels in the storage tanks were at critical levels. He reminds homeowners, that water conservation starts with them. The Mayor's thoughts are echoed from officials within Lake Charles.
Barbara Monroe, Sr. Environment Stormwater Specialist Calcasieu Parish Police Jury says "50yrs ago there were 4.5 million people and by the end of the 21st century there will be 9 billion. We are all using the same amount of water that we were given to begin with. Same amount of water on the earth. We have to share it and we have to conserve it".
Residents in Sulphur do not have water meters. They are charged a flat fee of a combined billing of $43 (includes water, sewer and trash). Some critics argue that because residents are not metered, there is a possibility of using water haphazardly. Businesses in Sulphur are required to carry water meters.
The Mayor says the city does plan on increasing its water bill from $43 to $45 in the coming year.
City of Sulphur's Director of Public Works, John Bruce gives this lesson on where the water comes from:
-Draws water from the underground Chicot Aquifer through deep water wells.
-Goes into a treatment process.
-Then travels to ground storage tanks (Hwy 90 and near City Hall).
-From there high service pumps pump it into the distribution network. (Watch video for illustration.)
-And that distribution network pumps it into 3 elevated storage tanks (the big tanks that usually have wording like "city of" or "welcome" - in this case the sign reads Sulphur Tors)
-Citizens draw their water from those elevated storage tanks from the distribution network.
Right now Sulphur citizens are consuming 5-million gallons of water everyday. That number, for a population of 22,000 people, is high according to officials.
Another official said if meters do go into effect, they suspect the consumption will go down. The reason? Anytime you are metered on consumption of any type of commodity, your general consumption will decrease.