Water Emergency Declared for Louisiana Town

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has released one month's supply of bottled water to the town; each individual there will receive 3 liters of water per day.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a Public Health Emergency on Dec. 16 for the town of St. Joseph in North Louisiana and was scheduled to visit the town on Dec. 19. His office advised residents to use an alternative drinking water source after tests on Dec. 15 conducted by the Office of Public Health showed elevated levels of lead in two samples – a private residence and the Town Hall – and two other sites, both private residences, with elevated levels of copper.

"The Town of St. Joseph has experienced water problems for years due to the poorly maintained and deteriorating water distribution system. Frequent breaks in the water distribution system provide a potential health risk because of the drop in water pressure," a news release from the governor's office explained. "Out of an abundance of caution, the Louisiana Department of Health recommends that residents use an alternative source of water for personal consumption, including making ice, brushing teeth, or using it for food preparation and rinsing of foods.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has released one month's supply of bottled water to the town; each individual there will receive 3 liters of water per day.

"The bottled water supply will serve as a temporary remedy. A more permanent source is made available to the Town of St. Joseph while construction is underway," the release stated. Residents could receive bottled water Dec. 16.

The governor has ordered testing of every household in the town within four weeks.

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