Evacuation to continue for S. Caddo residents

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) – Residents who evacuated from S. Caddo Parish because their water wells were contaminated by a nearby natural gas drilling site will not get to go home anytime soon.

On Tuesday, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said tests of water samples taken from the contaminated wells would come back Wednesday. But during a news conference Wednesday morning, Prator said there was a miscommunication between himself and officials with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Environmental Quality.

The water samples that will come back Wednesday are only preliminary sample. Both the DHH and DEQ said those samples are not good enough to determine the quality of the water. The validated water samples that both agencies need will take longer to process. Neither spokesperson for DEQ or DHH would say how long it would be before the validated samples were completed.

Both agencies said they were looking for contaminates associated with natural gas in the water samples. While each agency is assessing the water samples differently, both agencies must give the OK before anyone will be allowed back into their homes.

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved.