BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health awarded $3 million to the Waterworks District No. 3 of Beauregard Parish through the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWRLF).
In a Thursday news release, department officials said the loan will help the system improve and update the community's drinking water system.
Assistant Secretary of Public Health J.T. Lane said it's imperative that all Louisiana residents have access to safe drinking water.
"This program gives local communities a source of dependable and affordable financing to bring their water treatment facilities up to the latest and most modern technology that keeps their residents safe and healthy," he said.
Beauregard Parish Police Jury President Llewellyn "Biscuit" Smith said the improvements are needed.
"This is one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Louisiana. In just the past 10 years, it's grown 35 percent," he said.
Ray Hauser, Beauregard Waterworks General Manager, said district officials are excited about the upgrades. He said the Waterworks District No. 3 of Beauregard will use the money for many improvements including a new above ground water storage tank that will provide the community with a water reserve. The system will also replace aging water lines and install new pump motors and flow meters, which will help increase water pressure while improving the system's energy and water efficiency.
Congress established State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 as part of the amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and the individual participating states (20 percent). In Louisiana, it is administered by DHH's Office of Public Health.