About Waterworks

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  • HISTORY
  • TREATMENT SYSTEM
  • DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
  • WATER QUALITY
  • EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
  • FIRE HYDRANTS
  • RATES
  • WATER METER INFORMATION

  • History

    The East Bank and West Bank Waterworks Districts were created in November 1949 and were operated as separate districts under separate boards of commissioners. These two districts were combined into a Department of Waterworks under St. Charles Parish by the parish council on Nov. 6, 1989.


    Treatment System
    Our goals for drinking water are to provide:

    • Water that meets all current and anticipated regulatory requirements.
    • Aesthetically pleasing water (taste, odor, appearance, etc.).
    • Stable, compatible water throughout the distribution system.

    Source of Drinking Water
    St. Charles Parish has no known aquifers with an adequate supply of potable water. Therefore, the source of drinking water is the Mississippi River.

    Water Treatment Systems

    The water treatment systems on the East and West Banks are similar and consist of:

    ProcesS Treatment Function
    Clarification Coagulation / flocculation using a cationic polymer in an upflow clarifier.
    Filtration Removal of small particles with a sand / gravel media.
    Disinfection Using chlorine anhydrous ammonia to kill harmful bacteria. Disinfection destroys waterborne infectious diseases, including typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, infectious hepatitis, etc.
    Fluoridation Hydrofluosilicic acid added to obtain 0.85 + 0.15 parts per million of fluoride for the prevention of dental cavities.
    Corrosion Inhibitor Sodium zinc phosphate used to prevent rusting and metal leaching.
    Powdered Activated Carbon Removes organics, improves taste/odor.
    Plant Storage Ground storage tanks maintain a reserve supply.
    Water Treatment Chemicals Underground piping to deliver water to customers, fire hydrants for fire protection, elevated tanks for storage and stabilizing pressure.

    Chemicals Involved in the Treatment Process:

    • Cationic Polymer: A food grade material (polydimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride) which possesses a positive ion charge. Dispensed in water, this material will attract negatively charged materials, such as clay (dirt) in the raw river water to coagulate or bring together impurities in a dense mass. The coagulated mass will flocculate and sink to the bottom of the clarifier. Clear water is decanted off the upper zone and transferred to a sand filter where all visible particles are removed.
    • Chlorine: A powerful oxidant that disinfects water by killing bacteria. In order to maintain disinfection, a chlorine residual must be continued in the distribution system.
    • Chlorine Dioxide: Chlorine dioxide is a versatile antimicrobial. It is effective against viruses, fungi and algae over a wide temperature and pH ranges. Typical dosage is less than 2 parts per million because of limits on chlorite ions in finished water.
    • Ammonia: When combined with chlorine, ammonia forms chloramine. Chloramine is used instead of chlorine in the distribution system to maintain disinfection and to minimize objectionable chemical side reactions.
    • Hydrofluosilicic Acid: Added to drinking water to prevent dental cavities in young children.
    • Sodium Zinc Meta Phosphate: Added as a corrosion inhibitor.
    • Powdered Activated Carbon: Added continuously for taste and odor control.

    Distribution System
    To view the distribution system specifications with diagrams, click here.
    To view the distribution system specifications without diagrams, click here.

    To view the distribution system specifications broken down into sections, view the table of contents and then select the section you wish to view.

     

    Water Quality
    Water must be pleasing to the senses, clear, odorless and taste-free, free of harmful bacteria and have no harmful contaminants. There are more than 80 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water regulations, including inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, disinfection by-products, turbidity, microbiological contaminants and radio-nuclides. Water quality testing and analysis are performed to monitor all plant treatment functions and water in the distribution system. All laboratory analyses required to meet the monitoring requirements of the U.S. EPA drinking water quality regulations are performed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. St. Charles Parish drinking water meets and exceeds all quality requirements.

    Water Quality Testing and Analysis
    Treatment plant operators perform tests and analyses to assure that clarification, filtration and disinfection treatment processes are performing to yield the optimum quality of water. All plant data is placed in computers for processing and storage. Information can be easily retrieved and is calculated and arranged in a logical fashion so that the treatment processes can be reviewed for troubleshooting. Some plant data are automatically recorded, and some pumps and motors can be manually turned on or off by using computer controls. Maintenance is being guided by computerized information.

    Water quality safety is assured by the comprehensive control of all water treatment processes. For example, chlorine addition levels are checked for continuity throughout the treatment system and are verified by three independent measurement methods. Clarification polymer levels are verified by predetermined calculations to assure minimum addition levels. Powered activated carbon is fed at 0.5 parts per million continuously as a safeguard against contamination by most levels of organic materials. This addition level can be adjusted promptly as needed to remove higher levels of organic contaminants.

    Emergency procedures are in place for any foreseeable problem situation. Most procedures emphasize prevention and utilize reduced water pressure to conserve drinking water reserves. Waterworks has emergency procedures for hurricanes, hard freezes, oil and chemical spills, chlorine and ammonia leaks.

    Analyses and Tests Performed by Waterworks
    • Raw water conditions: Monitor polymer addition levels, flow rate and temperature.
    • Clarifiers: Monitor polymer addition levels, solids and speed.
    • Entire treatment process: Test for turbidity.
    • Filtration and storage systems: Analyze for chlorine and ammonia disinfection levels. Analyze for fluoride.
    • Monitor chlorine, ammonia, fluoride, corrosion inhibitor and activated carbon addition levels.

    Perform Water Analyses On

    Raw Conductivity  To Distribution Conductivity In Distribution Conductivity

    Chloride
    pH pH
    Total Hardness Total Hardness

    Calcium (magnesium)
    Alkalinity Alkalinity
    Fluoride Fluoride Fluoride
    Free Chlorine Free Chlorine Free Chlorine
    Total Chlorine Total Chlorine Total Chlorine


    Coliform Bacteria (Colilert)


    Heterotrophic Plate Count
    Temperature Temperature Temperature

    Water Treatment Capacity

    • East Bank: 13 million gallons per day. Average production 4.4824 million gallons per day.
    • West Bank: 9 million gallons per day. Average production 4.6439 million gallons per day. Maximum daily production 6.3814 million gallons per day. This system has an ample supply of water available for additional commercial, industrial or business ventures and for residential expansion.

    Emergency Procedures
    The Waterworks Department has emergency procedures in place for any foreseeable emergency. Most procedures emphasize prevention and utilize reduced water pressure to conserve drinking water reserves. Waterworks has emergency procedures for hurricanes, hard freezes, oil and chemical spills and chlorine or ammonia leaks.

    Freeze Precautions
    • All exposed pipes should be insulated and shielded from the wind. Exposed piping underneath a house or in the walls should be protected by draining. Houses on slabs do not need protection if the piping is in the slab. The supply line must be protected by wrapping with insulation, newspaper or old clothing. Plyboard, felt roofing, plastic or cardboard can be used for shielding.
    • To drain piping, close the valve on the water supply line and open all faucets. Draining will only work if pipes slope evenly.
    • When the water supply is to be shut off, the hot water heater must be turned off. The valve on gas heaters should be set to the "pilot" position. Electric heaters should be turned off at the switch box.
    • In order to keep the meter from freezing, the meter box cover must be kept in place with the lid closed.
    • If customers feel the need to leave water running during freezing weather as a means of preventing frozen or burst piping, expect a bill increase as a result of this action. The Department of Waterworks recommends that water pipes should be insulated and shielded from the wind as the primary means of protection. Flushing should be used as a last resort.

    Hurricane and Tornado Preparations

    • Reserve a water supply for drinking by placing water in sealed containers.
    • Clean the bathtub and fill it with water.
    • Keep a bucket in the bathroom to use to fill the toilet with flushing water and for "wash-off" baths.
    • Electric hot water heaters should be turned off.
    • Gas hot water heaters should be set on pilot.
    • If the customer has to leave home to take shelter elsewhere, the outside water valve at the house should be turned off.

    Chemical Spills

    • Precautions are taken by Waterworks to prevent contamination of clarifiers and filters. This often requires a shutdown of water intakes from the river. When the water intake is discontinued, the reserve storage is used to supply water to customers. As the reserve supply decreases, water pressure is reduced to decrease consumption. When conserved in this manner, water reserves can be made to last for much longer periods of time.
    • If the contaminant floats as with oil, booms are installed at the river intake pipes. Skimmers are used on the clarifier surfaces to remove any oil accumulations. The clarifiers are equipped with covers that extend below the water surface to keep oil out of the filters.

    Fire Hydrants
    It is the policy of the Waterworks Department not to relocate fire hydrants. A customer may move the hydrant, at their expense, provided they retain a qualified contractor, install the hydrantaccording to Waterworks' specifications and submit a detailed plan for approval.

    For fire hydrant specifications refer to:


    Rates
    Waterworks is obligated by parish ordinance 91-7-7, Water Revenue Bond, Series 1991, Article IX, Section 901, to fix, establish and maintain rates and fees and to revise them whenever necessary to provide sufficient revenues to:

    • Pay the necessary expenses of administering, operating and maintaining the utilities system.
    • Pay the principal and interest on maturing bonds.
    • Maintain all other funds required by the ordinance.
    • Pay all other obligations and indebtedness of the utilities system.
    • Maintain each year, after paying all necessary expenses of administering, operating and maintaining the utilities system, funds at least equal to 120 percent of the largest amount of principal and interest due on  revenue bonds.

    Waterworks is further obligated by Ordinance 91-7-7, Water Revenue Bond, Series 1991, Article IX, Section 902:

    • To fix, maintain and collect rates and fees irrespective of the user.
    • No free services or facilities be furnished to any person, association of persons or corporation, public or private.
    • All services shall be metered.
    • No discrimination shall be made as to rates and charges for the services and facilities of the utilities system as between users of the same type or class.
    • There be no rental or fee charged for fire hydrants connected to the utilities system and available for fire fighting purposes.
    • There be no charges for water used for firefighting or street cleaning.
    • All charges for any individual, partnership or corporation be billed and collected as a unit.
    • Failure of any individual, partnership or corporation to pay said combined charges within 15 days of the date on which it is billed shall cause such charge to become delinquent and shall be charged a 10 percent penalty on the bill charges.
    • If the bill and the penalty charges remain unpaid from the date on which it became delinquent,  Waterworks will shut off water service to the affected premises until all bill charges, penalty fees and reconnection fees are paid.
    • All rates, fees and charges in effect on the date of this ordinance are to remain in effect and shall not be reduced at any time.

    Water Rates Effective January 1, 2017
    Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Lafourche, St. John and Special:

    • $4 monthly charge
    • $3.50 per 1,000 gallons (0 to 6000 gallons of use)
    • $5.10 per 1,000 gallons (above 6000 to 10,000 gallons of use)
    • $6.50 per 1,000 gallons (above 10,000 gallons of use)

    Second Residential for Irrigation:

    • $2 monthly charge
    • $3.50 per 1,000 gallons (0 to 6000 gallons of use)
    • $5.10 per 1,000 gallons (above 6000 to 10,000 gallons of use)
    • $6.50 per 1,000 gallons (above 10,000 gallons of use)

    Fire Hydrant Meter Services:

    • $10 monthly charge
    • $3.50 per 1,000 gallons (0 to 6000 gallons of use)
    • $5.10 per 1,000 gallons (above 6000 to 10,000 gallons of use)
    • $6.50 per 1,000 gallons (above 10,000 gallons of use)

    Other Charges on Water Bill
    Wastewater Rates Effective January 1, 2017:

    • $4 one month minimum
    • $7.81 per 1,000 gallons (100 percent usage)
    • $7.42 per 1,000 gallons ( customer charged at 95 percent usage for commercial)
    • $7.03 per 1,000 gallons (customer charged at 90 percent usage for second residential meter)
    • $6.25 per 1,000 gallons (customer charged at 80 percent usage)

    Solid Waste Rates:

    • $16.69 per month (change effective January 1, 2016)

    Louisiana Sales Tax:

    • 5.0 percent on commercial and industrial sales

    For more Information see revenue.louisiana.gov/LawsPolicies/RIB%2015-016.pdf

    Sewer Installation Charges (St. Charles Parish Code, Chapter 22, Section 22-80):

    Delinquent Fee (St. Charles Parish Waterworks District 2 Ordinance 8-8-78, Effective Oct. 1, 1978):

    • 10 percent on water, wastewater, and solid waste only

    Average Residential Water Bill Based on 5,400 gallons water usage per month
    Water $22.36
    Wastewater $37.97
    Garbage $16.69
    Total $77.02

    service fees effective FEBRUARY 1, 2015
    METER SIZE
    NON-REFUNDABLE
    SERVICE CHARGE
    REFUNDABLE
    METER DEPOSIT ***
    5/8 inch x 3/4 inch residential meter *
    $825 $130
    5/8 inch x 3/4 inch (second residential for irrigation) *
    $825 $50
    1 inch residential meter *
    $1,100 $180
    1 inch (second residential for irrigation) *
    $1,100 $75
    2 inch * ** $3,500 $375
    3 inch *** ** $30 $1,200
    4 inch *** **  $30 $1,800
    6 inch *** **   $30 $2,700
    8 inch *** ** $30
    $3,200
    Fire hydrant meter (nonpotable water)  $30 $150

        * Meter furnished by district
        ** Customer must install and maintain a reduced pressure backflow preventer, and a strainer is required in front of all 2-inch and larger meters.
        *** Customer must have meter installed. District must be notified prior to tapping the main.
        **** A deposit must be made before a meter can be opened for service.
        Industrial Customers must install a backflow preventer regardless of meter size.

        Meter Deposit Transfer

        When a customer wants to close one account and open another, the existing meter deposit on the old account will be transferred to the new account, regardless of the amount as of June 19, 1991. The transfer must be made within five working days, or another deposit must be made on the new account.

        Connect Fee

        $30 to read and/or open existing services.

        Reconnect Fee

        $30 to open services locked off for delinquent bills or NSF checks.

        Damage Fee
        $30 plus $30 reconnect fee and actual labor costs and material cost to repair any damages incurred to reconnect if a meter was picked up due to unauthorized opening of service by the customer. 

        Actual Labor Costs for Repairs

        • $43.35 to remove and replace meter.
        • $38.26 to remove and replace broken padlock.
        • $65.43 to remove and replace broken locking device.
        • $65.43 to remove and replace broken curb stop.
        • $475.63 to plug line and bury service.
        • $825.00 to remove and replace service at main.
        • $168.52 to repair fire hydrant damaged through theft of water.

        Actual Cost for Damaged Materials

        • $7.98: Padlock
        • $34.75: Locking device
        • $34.75: 3/4-inch curb stop
        • $75.60: 1-inch curb Stop.
        • $221.50: 3/4-inch meter
        • $13.00: 3/4-inch meter couplings.
        • $315.50: 1-inch meter.
        • $52.80: 1-inch meter couplings.
        • $98.40: Plastic meter box.
        • $1.83: Fire hydrant operating nuts, each.
        • $210.00: Fire hydrant cap.
        • $500.00: Flat rate for water taken from a fire hydrant.
        Shut Off Valve Fee During Office Hours
        $30 per trip to turn the valve off or on when requested by the customer.

        Shut Off Valve Fee After Office Hours and Holidays
        $100 per trip after office hours, on weekends and holidays. Note that customers will be requested to have a shut off valve installed on their side of the meter. Waterworks will turn on/off during office hours without charge if the customer is installing a shut off valve.

        NSF Check Fee
        $30 Per check returned "NSF" or "account closed" as of Nov. 3, 2011.


        Water Meter Information
        • The meter register is in gallons, not cubic feet.
        • All numbers are read except the last two.
        • Meter size is 5/8 inch x 3/4 inch.
        • 5/8 inch is the inside diameter, which affects flow.
        • 3/4 inch is the outside diameter for fittings.
        • The arrow indicates direction of flow.

        Meter Coupling
        A leak before the meter does not affect consumption. Waterworks is responsible for leakage in the meter/coupling junction on the customer's side. A leak after the meter is registered by the meter. The customer is responsible for the leak at the junction with customer line/meter couplings.

        Curb Stop
        The curb stop is Waterworks' valve inside the meter box behind the meter. Waterworks uses the curb stop to turn the meter on and off.

        Customer's Water Valve
        This is the customer's valve that the customers use to turn their water on and off.

        • Always close lids on meters and tops on meter boxes.
        • Customers should report all broken or missing meter boxes and/or lids. 
        • Meters are removed from accounts that have been vacant for six months or more.

        Water Meters
        The following water meters are used in St. Charles Parish.

        Size Make Flow Rate-gpm
        Low
        Flow Rate-gpm
        High
        5/8 inch x 3/4 inch
        Master Meter BLMJ w/Dialog 3G AMR
        1/4 20
        1 inch
        Master Meter BLMJ w/Dialog 3G AMR
        3/4 50
        2 inch
        Master Meter Octave Ultrasonic Meter
        1/4
        250
        3 inch
        Master Meter Octave Ultrasonic Meter
        1/2
        500
        4 inch
        Master Meter Octave Ultrasonic Meter
        3/4
        1000
        6 inch
        Master Meter Octave Ultrasonic Meter
        2
        1600
        8 inch
        Master Meter Octave Ultrasonic Meter
        4  2800

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