ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The problem of saltwater intrusion into the drinking water of south Louisiana has come to Acadiana.

The St. Mary Parish Water and Sewer Commission District No. 4 has issued a Drinking Water Advisory effective immediately for the entire district including Town of Baldwin residents. The water system is experiencing higher levels of salt from a wedge that is moving up the Charenton Drainage and Navigation Canal from West Cote Blanche Bay, officials said.

Camile Punch, secretary-treasurer of Water And Sewer Commission District No. 4, said that salt water from West Cote Blanche Bay has entered the Charenton Canal, which is the district’s main water supply.

“Salt water is heavier than fresh water and it travels underneath,” Punch said. “Like that talk about in New Orleans with the wedge, it is the same thing here.”

This is not a boil advisory, but the Louisiana Department of Health recommends that people receiving drinking water through Water & Sewer Commission No. 4 who are on dialysis and/or low sodium diets check with their health care providers about the levels of salt in their drinking water.

Punch said, unlike other places, the saltwater in the drinking water is expected to be temporary.

“In New Orleans and all that where they are having all that trouble, they are constantly having water in their system,” Punch said. “We just had that one (occurance) and it is going to work its way out.”

Authorities said the St. Mary Parish Water & Sewer Commission officials are actively monitoring the situation and investigating ways to lower the sodium and chloride levels. LDH is actively working with the water system regarding this issue, officials said.