Published: March 7, 2017

    The Water Is So Contaminated in Louisiana That Pastors Won’t Use It for Baptisms

    Lead, copper, and other elements have been consistently found in overwhelming levels in the drinking water around Louisiana over the last couple of months. Last month, In Saint Joseph, the new mayor Elvadus Fields learned that approximately 22 percent of the city’s homes contain drinking water with a toxic level of lead. The water system in the area is over 90 years old and has been poorly maintained due to lack of funding.

    Many homeowners are met with a shocking yellowish-brown flow of muddy water in their home whenever they turn on the tap. Health officials announced that, in addition to high levels of iron and manganese, the water for many homes definitively contains levels of lead that far exceed even the most lenient guidelines. Lead’s presence in drinking water can result in lower IQs and hearing problems after a small window of exposure.

    Fields and city officials advise residents to get their blood tested at a local clinic to determine if they’ve been consuming the unsafe, lead-infected water. Lead has no taste and is not visible, so many families are unaware when they are in fact drinking lead-tainted water. Louisiana citizens have been provided with the resources to locate a testing site if they do not have a primary care doctor.

    State representative Marcus Hunter is outraged about the low quality of water his constituents have been forced to consume for years. He advocates for sustainable water supplies that are not tainted with dangerous chemicals. “What’s being done to the people of Louisiana is criminal and I urge the attorney general to intervene,” he stated.

    On December 16th, Governor John Bel Edwards issued an emergency order for town residents to start drinking bottled water from state reserves set aside for disasters, and to not consume tap water. This emergency order came after two samples of water in the area showed unsafe levels of lead and exceedingly high levels of copper.

    Health workers are conducting investigations to determine precisely where the lead originated. Unfortunately, towns like St. Joseph don’t have the budget or the infrastructure in place to quickly improve their water system or to maintain it throughout the years.

    The town is slowly in the process of having their water system upgraded. While the water tower has been refurbished, the aging distribution pipes are the main cause for concern. St. Joseph will begin replacing the pipes in a couple of weeks. The city’s goal is to also upgrade the water treatment facility.

    The water quality is so notoriously bad that Pastor Donald Scott, who works at the nearby Oneonta Baptist Church, indefinitely suspended baptisms in his congregation until he can find a water source that’s clean and reliable. “They say don’t drink it. I just don’t feel comfortable immersing people in that water,” he asserted. “I’m pretty sure God understands.”

    If you live in the area, or if you’re worried about lead contamination, outfit your home with a top-quality filtration system. Invest in the Drinking Water Purification System to reduce the lead in your water by 99%. And to take care of that yellowish-brown hue, consider an Iron & Manganese filter.