Water woes continue for ArkLaTex after winter storm moves through

Snow in Liberty-Eylau (south of Texarkana, Texas)
Snow in Liberty-Eylau (south of Texarkana, Texas)(Viewer)
Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:54 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - All throughout the ArkLaTex, water departments are dealing with low pressure or none at all. Those include Shreveport and Bossier City, where low water pressure in both cities have prompted boil advisories to be issued.

MORE>>> Boil advisories, emergency appeals issued in the ArkLaTex during severe winter weather

Pam Glorioso, chief administrative officer for Bossier City, talked with KSLA News 12’s Jeff Ferrell about what the city is doing to address the issues and what comes next.

According to Glorioso, work crews responded to 300 service calls Wednesday alone for leaking and busted water lines. When discovered, crews then must turn off water services on that line until repairs can be made.

Glorioso says so far the severe cold and ice have not busted their major water mains, like those 20 to 24 inches in size, some of which can affect 200 or more households.

“Just maybe six and eight inch lines that we’ve been able to repair quickly. But those are not taking the bulk of water. But when you add up all those things together that’s what’s causing the problem. And so by doing that the pressure’s not there to push out to the outlying areas that we sell water to such as the town of Benton.”

She says often it’s the older water lines that fall prey to the bitter cold and often we see it in the same areas year after year. The same has been true this year, with more breaks suspected once the ice melts.

“The lines that we see rupture are in the older sections of town around the Barksdale Boulevard area have a lot of cast iron or pipe in place line are just there. And this cold weather is just making them snap.”

It’s much the same story across the Red River in Shreveport. That’s where there’s already thousands of water leaks and broken lines in homes and businesses alike peppered across the city.

And that’s not where the challenges stop, according to William Daniel, Shreveport’s Director of Water & Sewerage.

“We are trying to plug as many of those leaks as we can. In addition we have our full staff out at the water plant, that makes the water. And one of the problems we’re having at the water plant is a lot of our remote communications equipment is not functioning properly.”

Daniel explains that means they can’t read what’s going on in the different water tanks or even if their booster pumps are working. He says that is forcing on site manual inspections.

Out of the 70,000 household and business meters, Daniel says nearly all are affected at some level.

Back in Bossier City, Glorioso said she expects their boil order advisory won’t be lifted for another 72 hours or so.

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