MAMOU, La. (KLFY) — A $5 million state loan will help the Town of Mamou improve its drinking water infrastructure, though it will change what residents pay for their monthly bill.
The loan comes from the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF) program, a division of the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health. The money will go toward two new groundwater wells, a new water treatment facility with filters and softeners, a new ground storage tank, new water meters with an automated meter reading system, and more than 3,000 linear feet of new pipeline.
“We’re long overdue in correcting the town’s water problems. This funding will allow us to improve the quality of water for our residents and save costs associated with our sewer water plant,” Mamou Mayor Ricky Fontenot said in a press release today.
The town’s 1,800 water customers currently pay a flat fee of $22 per month for their water. With the new meter system, Fontenot explained residents will start paying for their water according to their monthly usage. He said system managers have not yet determined the usage rate for residential and business customers.
“We want to offer the most affordable rate that also allows us to pay the bills and plan for maintenance and growth,” said Fontenot.
Fontenot said drilling for the new wells and construction on the new treatment facility has begun. At the same time, the automated meters are being installed at customer’s homes and businesses.
“We anticipate laying the new pipelines later this summer and completing all the projects by the end of the year,” he said.
The two new water wells will pump 800 gallons per minute each and replace the three older wells near that site; the new ground storage tank will hold 125,000 gallons of water and will provide additional storage capacity for the system, supplementing an existing 300,000-gallon tank. The location will also include a newly constructed water treatment facility that will have softeners and filters to improve the quality of the drinking water.
“The current wells are tapped into the Evangeline Aquifer, which provides water that doesn’t react well with chlorine treatments. The new wells will access water in the Chicot Aquifer, which will produce better quality water for our system,” Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo said the town will keep an existing water well on Hackberry Ave. for emergency backup. A 150-kilowatt natural gas generator is also being installed at the new location to power the pumps and treatment facility in the event of an electrical outage.
“This will be good for our citizens,” Mayor Fontenot said. “This is something we have tried to do for 20-something years now, and it’s finally coming to pass. We’re excited about the quality water we will be able to deliver and the cost savings we believe the automated meter system will help to bring.”