Drinking Ban on Water Issued in Kaplan

January 18, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

Got water? For the past 24 hours H20 has been a hot commodity in the city of Kaplan, after lime found in the city's water system prompts the State Department of Health to issue a no drinking ordinance. The city-wide warning sent residents racing to buy bottled and jugged water.

"About 10:30 this morning, I guess it started. It didn't take much to wipe out the shelves as you can tell. It took probably about 10 to 15 minutes. It was an unexpected problem," said Brent Dubois with Larry's Grocery.

Area stores, including Larry's Grocery, have placed emergency orders of water to meet the heavy demand. With no other choice, residents are dealing with the inconvenience.

"You don't realize how much water you use until you don't have it. I have to put little notes on my faucet to make sure I know not to use it because it's so natural to do it everyday," said Kaplan resident Brenda Boutte.

Kaplan Mayor Linda Hardee says complaints of cloudy water from several residents alerted them of a maintenance problem at the city's water plant. "There was a lime build up there. And so as a result the water plant's clarifiers and the filters needed to be cleaned," said Mayor Hardee. "We have done sample testing and our preliminary indications are that the water is fine. The results are fine, but we are still urging residents to act out of caution and not drink the water or cook with it."

Mayor Hardee says they have tested the water and found no hazardous levels, but are acting out of precaution. Also taking precaution is the Vermillion Parish School Board. They have closed Kaplan Elementary, Kaplan High School, Rene Rost Middle School and Vermillion Parish Alternative School until Monday.

In the meantime, DHH says for the next 24 hours, bathing and washing clothes are permitted, however drinking and cooking with tap water remains off limits.