Utilities crews responded to an emergency water leak along Highway 20 around 4:30 p.m. yesterday. As they assessed the extent of the leak, attempts were made to isolate the leak in an effort to avoid shutting off water to the entire South Vacherie community.
Just before 6 p.m., the crew determined that the leak could not be isolated; water would need to be shut off for the entire South Vacherie community in order to make emergency repairs and a boil water advisory would go into effect once water was restored.
The crew began to shut the water off around 7 p.m. at which time the advisory was placed on the website and Facebook. A Nixle text alert was also created and sent out by the system at 7:30 p.m. The water was not completely turned off until around 7:30 p.m. as the crew had to turn off about 10 valves with each valve taking between 5-10 minutes to shut off.
The crew began to turn the water back on just after 8 p.m. at which time another Nixle text alert was sent out informing that water was being turned back on and that boil water advisory was in effect.
As part of the corrective action, there will be an after action review meeting to critique the process used. If determined the need, the process will be revised for improvement.
The utilities department works hard in maintaining the quality of water our residents deserve. Unfortunately, emergencies such as this one are unpredictable. We are proud of our employees’ effort in correcting this leak in a timely manner, safely and expeditiously.
We encourage all residents to sign up for our text alerts from the Parish (stjamesla.com) and the Sheriff’s Office (local.nixle.com/st-james-parish-sheriffs-office) to get alerts to your cell. Follow the parish web site (stjamesla.com) for these notices also. We thank our residents for their patience in these times of emergencies.