BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The law's been on the books since 2000 but only now are state officials enforcing it.
The law requires special equipment when two homes or businesses use the same water meter. It's a big issue in Beauregard Parish where angry residents got to hear from state officials today.
Many Beauregard Parish residents were recently informed that their current water meter and hook-up is no longer sufficient and that they could either have their water turned off or be assessed fees until they are in compliance.
Terry Kirl said he's upset because he's just trying to take care of his mother by letting her have a home on the same property as him.
"I pay her water bill, we're hooked up together," Kirl said. "Recently, I received a letter in the mail that said I couldn't have two households on the same water meter. Then they tell me that I need to pay six hundred and fifty dollars for a new water meter."
To address the issues of backflow contamination and what changes need to be made, the Beauregard Police Jury held a special meeting Tuesday night so officials from The Department of Health and Hospitals could explain what needed to be done. With the deadline quickly approaching to get in compliance, Beauregard Parish residents still have many concerns about backflow prevention.
The special meeting had a strong showing and at times it did get heated, but the representatives from the state DHH did their best to explain why residents had to pay for new equipment. Those answers were not always what the people wanted to hear.
Kirl explained why he thinks the whole situation is flawed.
"They are talking about contamination in the system and this new water meter is supposed to stop the contamination," Kirl said. "If the old one isn't good enough and I have to buy this new one. Why is not the whole parish being told they have to change their water meter?"
Many feel that if it's one additional residence on their property that the law should be changed and some are willing to take drastic measures if their water gets turned off
"I'll do something, I'll build my own type of water system if I have to," he said.
The DHH stated they are only enforcing the rules and that if Beauregard residents would like to see a change, they should contact their legislators.