BEDICO - After more than three years of battling brown water issues, one community has finally received the all clear for its faucets.
The whir of a $1 million water-well filtration system is music to the ears of Tangi Water District Manager Charles Schlicher.
"It will circulate down through the filters, and it will attach to the media that's in the filters," he explained standing next to the twin 20-plus foot tall structures built from manganese.
Though deemed safe by health officials, excess amounts of the mineral have plagued thousands of families in the Bedico area for years by frequently turning their drinking, bathing and cooking water a variation of shades of brown.
"Having small four kids it's been really rough," said Bedico Meadows resident Roy Clinard, "Especially when you go to bathe your kids at night. It's like, 'Oh my God. I can't put these kids in this water.' It's scary."
Clinard is cautiously optimistic the clear water coming out of his tap Monday will be the new norm in his household.
"We are definitely happy about it. I'll tell you that. It's been a long time coming," he said.
Area Constable Don Marshall is confident in the all-clear being given.
"I'm just so happy to have these filters online now. I mean, I've been suffering through this brown water like everybody else," he said.
Because Bedico is one of the fastest growing areas in Tangipahoa Parish, the water district actually created the well site to be able to add two more large filters in case that's needed to match future population growth.
For now, after more than three years of pipe flushings, tank cleanings and even taking the well completely off-line, water district leaders are relieved to finally have an answer to thousands of pleas and prayers.
"Hopefully all of the customers, this'll take care of them and they won't have to deal with this manganese anymore," said Schlicher.
The water district is planning a final flushing off all of the lines over the next two weeks. So residents are being warned of the potential for lower water pressure and some tinted water. However, running home faucets for a few minutes should clear everything up quickly.
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