Some residents in Shreveport's Queensborough neighborhood say they have been calling the city's water department for five months now to repair a badly leaking water meter. It has created a block-long puddle. But the problem is not getting fixed. So, they called KSLA News 12 for help.
Barbara Featherston, Shreveport's Director of Water and Sewerage said they're now working on that leaking water meter. But Featherston told us it is a symptom of a much larger problem: They are simply overwhelmed with work orders.
Calvin Gordener pointed and said, "Look at there, looks like a river. And come on down farther." She gave us the grand tour of what has effectively become a giant puddle, that runs the entire length of the 26-hundred block of West College Street. It's all caused by a leaking water meter. Gordener says when the leak started in September so did her phone calls to the city. "And it's been ten or twelve trucks been over here to look at it. But they get in their trucks and pull off."
Gordener is not alone in calling the city for help. "My sister and most of the neighbors have, but nothing wasn't done about it," said long-time resident Maxine Scaife. She said it's hard not to get mad about this on-going water leak. "Yes I do. But it ain't going to do nothing. You can't fight city hall."
But, you can call the water department. And that's just what we did. A little more than an hour later on this Thursday, February 20th, Shreveport Water Department crews arrived on scene. They cleared and cleaned the area around the water meter, properly marked it and promptly left for another call.
A water department employee later told me over the phone that different crews must now go to the scene and determine if it's safe to dig there. Then, work crews can begin their job. But we're told it could be a full week before the water leak is stopped and the meter is repaired.
Residents, like Maxine Scaife, are just glad there's a light at the end of the tunnel with this block-long puddle. "I think that's great."
Featherston acknowledged the frustrations of the residents living along West College street. But she said her department has a backlog of 600-work orders, which translates into 30 to 45 days wait. And Featherston added that they have faced a quote 'unreal number' of major water main breaks, seemingly week after week. Despite that, she said they are hiring more repair crews right now.
So, what should you do if you're having this problem? According to the City of Shreveport Water Department's web site, a water leak that is on the city's side of the meter can be reported to the 24-hour emergency dispatcher at (318) 673-7600. The citizen is responsible for repairs on their side of the water meter. But Featherston said it's important to remember that calls will be prioritized depending on their level of importance.
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