Tap runs brown in Louisiana’s impoverished northeast


Desultory Heroics

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With infrastructure funds going unspent, residents have lack of drinking supplies and iron sediment flowing from pipes

By

Source: Al Jazeera

ST. JOSEPH, Louisiana – “I’m scared to take a bath,” said Ethel Strum, who lives in St. Joseph, a community of barely 1,000 people in northeast Louisiana.

She turned on the tap in the bathroom sink of her tidy one-story home and the water flowed clear for a second before fading to a milky brown. In her kitchen, a few cases of bottled water, which she uses for everything from brushing her teeth to cooking, are stacked on the table.

“I drive to Newellton to shower. It’s a 20-minute drive but I can do it in 12,” she laughed.

But talking about the town’s water issues makes her visibly upset. Among the many problems are frequent outages, water thick with iron sediment from the aging pipes, and…

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