Drinking Water Advisory
August 15, 2012
Belle Chasse - Plaquemines Parish is issuing a DRINKING WATER ADVISORY effective immediately. Water IS safe to drink and use but those with low sodium diets should read furthur for safety precautions.
The Plaquemines Parish water systems are experiencing higher levels of sodium and chloride from a salt water wedge that is moving up the Mississippi River.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies contaminants in two categories: primary (those that have a known health threat) and secondary (those that are not a threat to health). Chloride is considered a secondary contaminant, meaning it is not a threat to health, but it could affect the taste, odor and color of drinking water.
EPA’s secondary maximum contaminant level for chloride is 250 mg/L. The highest level found in the Parish’s drinking water was 362 mg/L of chloride in the Port Sulphur area. These levels will fluctuate based on the salt water wedge’s movement.
EPA does not classify sodium as a primary or secondary contaminant, but individuals who are on a low-sodium diet for other health reasons such as high blood pressure or kidney diseases should pay special attention to sodium levels in their drinking water.
The sodium levels found in the Parish’s drinking water ranged from 60 mg/L to 200 mg/L. EPA recommends that drinking-water sodium not exceed 20 mg/L for individuals on a very low sodium diet (500 mg/day). Individuals who are on these diets should consider the sodium level of their drinking water as part of their daily intake, and should check with their doctor or health care provider for specific guidance about how much sodium per day is appropriate for them to consume.
The Department of Health and Hospitals recommends that people receiving drinking water through systems in this parish that are on dialysis and/or low-sodium diets check with their health care providers related to the levels of chloride and sodium in their drinking water.
Plaquemines Parish is actively monitoring the situation and is investigating possible ways to lower the sodium and chloride levels.
DHH is actively working with the system in regards to this issue.
For more information visit the DHH’s website at dhh.louisianna.gov.
Public Information Officer
Plaquemines Parish Government