Webster, Bossier police juries to work together on surface water study

The Webster Parish Police Jury has agreed to work with the Bossier police jury in studying the possible benefits of reopening a long-dormant water treatment plant at Camp Minden.

In May’s jury meeting, Bossier police jury representatives and the company who will conduct the study were on hand to explain what the study could mean for both parishes. Police Jury President Jim Bonsall explained to his fellow jurors this is only a study.

“About three or four years ago, there was a study done to see if there was a need for this water,” he said. “This study showed that there was a need presently and more need in the future. There was a poll done from all the water systems, and the systems that talked about needing more water were in Webster Parish. But, there is at least one water system in Bossier Parish that has a need for it. I believe strongly that we need to look into water. Everything you read about it says surface water is the way to go.”

He went on to say that the study is to see if the Camp Minden system is feasible and to see what impact it would have on Bayou Dorcheat. Bonsall says according to the previous study, the impact to Bayou Dorcheat would be minimal.

Glenn Benton, of the Bossier Parish Police Jury, says the plant was built in the early 80s to supply a Music Mountain plant that was coming to Camp Minden. The treatment plant was approved for up to four million gallons per day, he says.

“In the study that Shaw (Environmental and Infrastructure) did just a couple of years ago, four million gallons a day on Bayou Dorcheat was very minimum drainage,” he said.

He says Highway 80 between Dixie Inn and Haughton is prime development for industry, and with the possibility of I-69 coming through this area, the need for water will greatly increase.
Lane Merritt, who has long had an interest in the area’s water supply, says there is opposition to the idea of using Dorcheat.

“There would be some opposition, and it’s mainly where you’re withdrawing the water,” he said. “It is part of Dorcheat and the last part of Dorcheat is owned by the state. It’s something you may want to consider in your study – where it would involve just your intake. The other thing I wish they would consider is what about Red River? You also have Bodcau Bayou. (The people I talked to), they’re not selfish people; they just don’t want to lose what they’ve had for decades.”

Lanny Buck, of KSA Engineers, says the study is to see if the water is available. The first thing is to get the permit and then see what it will cost to get the plant back up and running.

“What we’re going to do is a step process,” Buck said. “We’re going to determine the quantity of the water, the quality of the water and take samples and see if they match with those around with well water – and then evaluate the plant. The next step will be to determine where the water will go.”

From beginning to end, it will take about a year to conduct the study. The cost of the total study will be about $125,000.

Two jurors abstained, one citing he needed more time to look at the information before making a decision.

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