LaFayette experiences major leak, sends out boil water notice

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The city of LaFayette is under a boil water notice after a water leak that left some residents without water at all Wednesday morning.

Residents of LaFayette should take care to either bring their tap water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes or use bottled water for “drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice,” says the notice sent out by the City of LaFayette.

On Wednesday morning, LaFayette residents experienced water problems after the city water system lost pressure due to a leak. LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines said some residents had low pressure but some running water, whereas others were completely without water. He had no running water at his home.

Email newsletter signup

“I received a call from our water superintendent probably around 4 a.m.,” Vines said. “My brother, he works at Kia. So, he had to get up anyway, and he was like, ‘Hey, the water’s not on.’”

Chambers County School District announced that due to the water issue, school would be virtual for LaFayette High School, JP Powell Middle School, Eastside Elementary and Inspire Academy. Probate Judge Paul Story said the Chambers County Courthouse was closed Wednesday due to the issue.

Vines said the problem was under control and that the city had purchased water from Huguley, which he said the city sometimes does when it has water issues. He said he wasn’t sure what caused the leak but said it happened in the area of the Kardoes Rubber building. He said the leak was around 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

“It was coming from behind one of the main water valves,” he said. “And it was flooding that whole building.”

Vines said citizens have been understanding and that the problem would be fixed by the end of the day. However, the city’s notice says that as of Wednesday, affected citizens will likely have to boil their water for the next two to three days as the water is tested for dangerous bacteria. If the test results show no dangerous bacteria, citizens will be notified that they can drink and use tap water as usual.

The notice states that the loss of pressure and water in the distribution system could lead to fecal contamination or disease-causing organisms entering the system due to “backpressure, backsiphonage, or net movement of water from outside the pipe to the inside through cracks, breaks, or joints in the distribution system that are common in all water systems.”

“These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause [symptoms] such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other [symptoms],” says the notice. “They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.”

The notice says to discard stored water or ice made recently from the city water supply. The boil water notice applies to areas throughout the system that had no water pressure on Wednesday.

For more information, please contact City Hall at (334) 864-7181 or the City of Lafayette Filter Plant at (334) 864-9363.