Water loss in Robeline, Marthaville brings in state authorities

Water loss in Robeline, Marthaville brings in state authorities

ROBELINE, LA (KSLA) - Robeline native Katelynn McKinney now comes to a pool of non-potable water behind the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7 station for water she doesn't dare to drink, water that she's been without.

"This is going on three weeks now," she said. "Today was the first time in three days I could brush my teeth. Yesterday was the first shower I've had in a week and this water behind us is about the only thing flushing our toilets. it stinks. There are bug problems happening."

McKinney is one of 450 customers of the Robeline-Marthaville Water System that are experiencing either potentially unsafe water or no water at all.

Those residents who have had their water come back on told KSLA they still don't trust it.

"I wouldn't drink it. I mean, it's brown!" said Robeline resident Alex Laurent.

Robeline-Marthaville Water System leaders told KSLA their main water tank is 30 years old and has sprung holes.

System President Tommy O'Con told KSLA on Monday all customers would have water by Tuesday.

That still has not happened.

The latest update from the water system's Facebook page now reads:

"Our goal is to have new equipment installed at the plant prior to Christmas so that all customers will have water available for the holidays."

State authorities are now stepping in for a meeting on this issue on Thursday.

"The Delta Regional Authority will be meeting with the town and the parish president to look at solutions," Louisiana State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry told KSLA. "There's a pump they could invest in and the Regional Authority is looking at getting the funds."

According to Guidry, the Delta Regional Authority also has a long-term solution to suggest.

"Connect to a larger system like the Sabine Parish Water District No. 1 who has more customers and the ability to keep the system running better," he said.

O'Con told KSLA they've submitted an application to the Delta Regional Authority for $30,000 in emergency funds to replace the main water tank with two new water pumps.

McKinney said she just wants this water struggle to end, especially with a big day coming up.

"Nine days from marriage and you can't brush your teeth or wash your hair," she said. "You can't even do your makeup trial run. I know it doesn't mean a lot to a lot of people but it does to me."

The Red Cross in Shreveport has given 1,000 water bottles to the residents of Robeline and Marthaville.
State Health Officers report they have not issued a Public Health Emergency in the two towns yet.

The Delta Regional Authority meeting is set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

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