Edwards declared the emergency in the Tensas Parish town after test results Thursday showed elevated levels of lead in two samples -- one from a private residence and one from the Town Hall. Edwards, in a news release, said there were two other sites with elevated levels of copper, both at private residences..... In the meantime, the Louisiana Department of Health recommends residents use another watersource to make ice, brush teeth or use in food preparation, Edwards said.
And, according to The Baton Rouge Advocate, 300 towns in Louisiana alone cannot afford to bring their water systems up to the lower limits of potability. It turns out that the water problems are complicating local liturgies as well.
Pastor Donald Scott, one of the volunteers from the town's churches handling the task, said he has suspended baptisms at his Oneonta Baptist Church until he can work out a source to provide clean water. Celebrants' heads are plunged fully underwater by the minister as part of the ceremony. "They say don't drink it. I just don't feel comfortable immersing people in that water," Scott said. "I'm pretty sure God understands."