U.S. Water News Online
HAMMOND, La. -- A severe drought coupled with residential
growth exceeding well supply capacity have led to voluntary water
restrictions in two water systems in Tangipahoa Parish, officials
The drought also has triggered bans on open burning of trash and
debris in Tangipahoa and St. Tammany parishes.
The Tangipahoa Parish Water District and the city of Ponchatoula
have asked residents to voluntarily cut back on water usage,
particularly the use of water for lawns and landscaping.
Water-use and burn restrictions are in place until further notice,
Officials throughout the Florida Parishes, from Bogalusa to Denham
Springs, said they are monitoring the situation but have seen no need
yet to follow suit.
"They are using water like it's going out of style," said Preston
Killcrease, manager of the Livingston Parish Ward 2 Water District.
Tangipahoa Parish government issued a voluntary request to
residents west of Interstate 55 between La. 22 and La. 40 to reduce
water usage and restrict watering lawns to once a week because the
water district is experiencing critically low water pressure.
If the voluntary restrictions are not followed, Parish President
Gordon Burgess said he will consider issuing mandatory restrictions
on watering lawns that carry civil penalties if broken.
"My grass is dead in my yard," Burgess said. "I can't afford to
water it. I have my own well."
The explosive growth in residential development in Tangipahoa
Parish since Hurricane Katrina has led to more rapid expansion than
anticipated for the water district. The district is connecting 120
new lines a month post-Katrina compared to about 50 a month before
the storm, said Charles Schlicher, systems manager for the water
The increased usage has taxed the system's pumping capacity, and
its 12 wells can't pump water fast enough to meet the ever-increasing
demand, board member Dickie Davidge said during a special meeting of
the water district's board.
The district has been anticipating growth -- just not at the
post-Katrina pace, Davidge said.
It has been designing and preparing for a new well and
500,000-gallon storage tank for the past year, but the earliest the
project will come on line is fall.
"We can't wave a magic wand and produce more water," Davidge said.
Ponchatoula has a voluntary restriction in place, but the city's
situation is far less severe than the rural districts, Mayor Bob
The Ponchatoula system has seen its water storage drop to about 70
percent of its tank capacity and asked for conservation to ensure a
water supply for emergencies, he said.
The entire Florida Parishes region is in the throes of a severe
drought, the National Weather Service in Slidell has said. Slidell
has had 8.4 inches of rain since January, and Hammond has had 12.14
inches from January through May, meteorologist Tim Destri said.
the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.