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Louisiana senators propose new water quality bills

May 29, 2014
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Louisiana lawmakers are considering implementing measures that would ensure water utilities comply with higher water quality standards and would prevent delivery of tainted tap water to customers.

The state has been plagued by water quality issues over the past few years, prompting authorities to take more decisive steps to tackle them. For instance, residents of Lafayette Parish have been accustomed to seeing brownish or yellowish water running from their faucets for years. Despite the fact that the tap water is obviously tainted, formally it still meets state standards. If the two draft bills are approved, standards will be raised.

Earlier this year, customers of water provider Total Environmental Solutions (TESI) in 10 Louisiana subdivisions were warned to boil their water before drinking it. On top of that, there was news of a deadly "brain-eating" amoeba that was discovered in water in St. Bernard and DeSoto parishes several months ago, the Daily World reported.

The two bills, identified as Senate Bill 421, introduced by state Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, and SB 425, co-authored by Cortez and state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, aim to close the loopholes in existing regulation that allow providers like TESI to deliver substandard water to its customers. Legislation is not the first choice among the available moves, but efforts to resolve the problem with TESI and with officials with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals have not yielded satisfactory results, the Daily World said.

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