Salt Water Intrusion Update
Update: August 22, 2012
Belle Chasse – As of Tuesday, August 21, 2012 Plaquemines Parish has started pumping water from Orleans and Jefferson Parish to the Belle Chasse water intake. Jefferson and Orleans Parish operate at a lower water pressure than Plaquemines Parish; therefore residents may notice a slight reduction in the water pressure in this area. This reduced pressure is normal. We are asking that all residents and businesses in the Parish conserve water for the remainder of this event.
Plaquemines Parish is also pumping water from barges to the water intake located in Port Sulphur. These two processes, along with the sill being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are helping combat the high chloride levels currently in the Mississippi River.
The toe of the salt water wedge is located at mile marker 89 in the river which is in St. Bernard Parish. The area of high chloride levels begins approximately 15 miles downstream from the toe at mile marker 74 which is below Belle Chasse.
Water in the parish is safe to use and consume.
Original Story: August 8, 2012
Belle Chasse – On Tuesday, August, 7th, 2012 at 6:00 a.m. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser declared a State of Emergency for Plaquemines Parish because of the salt water wedge moving north in the Mississippi River. Parish officials have been working with the Governor, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and surrounding parishes to make sure that residents of Plaquemines Parish are not affected by the salt water wedge.
Plaquemines Parish has operating water intakes at the Dalcour, Belle Chasse, Pointe-ala-Hache and Port Sulphur water plants. As salinity levels increase at the various intakes throughout the parish, measures are being put into place to insure that residents are not affected.
The parish currently has a pipe line established with Jefferson Parish to supply potable water to the west bank and is in the process of establishing a connection with Orleans Parish and with St. Bernard Parish on the east bank to supply potable water to all the affected areas should the need arise.
Operations are underway to set up and utilize barges at the Port Sulphur, Dalcour, and Pointe-ala-Hache location to supply fresh water to the processing plant and enable these plants to continue to supply those communities.
Next week the US Army Corps of Engineers will begin to build an underground levee in the Mississippi River called a sill. The sill is a tested and proven method which blocks the salt water wedge and keeps it from flowing north. Meanwhile President Nungesser and his administration are committed to doing whatever is necessary to insure the residents of Plaquemines Parish are never without usable water.