Study being done on seriousness of groundwater issues in Bossier Parish

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Parish Engineer Butch Ford delivers a copy of proposed ordinance amendments to jury member Rick Avery. (Courtesy photo)

A group of college professors will soon begin studying ground water levels for the Bossier Parish Police Jury to determine the depth of the problems lying beneath the surface in an area between the Red River and bayous to the east.

Parish Engineer Butch Ford said Wednesday professors from LSU-S have worked with Caddo Parish in identifying its ground water levels.

“The professors are very interested in helping us, and the Red River Water Institute is putting a proposal together,” Ford said. “By the next jury meeting, we hope to have a five-year plan that will help our problem.”

In Caddo Parish, the town of Blanchard has a ground water table of one foot, he told members of the police jury Road/Subdivision Regulations Committee. In the area of concern in Bossier Parish, water table levels are between four and five feet.

“We’re getting pricing to determine how many test wells we need and we will start where we have problems,” Ford said. “This will be an evolving thing but we think within the next 90 days we will have a preliminary report.”

That report, he added, will be forever. 

“It’s something that will be published, people will read it and it will be facts for future use,” Ford said.

High ground water levels have been causing utility line problems in some areas, including Conti Way where the parish just completed roughly $300,000 in repairs. A section of sewer line had separated when the ground beneath collapsed due to ground water invasion of the base. 

Parish engineers have also expressed concern over foundation designs of new homes that are being constructed in the areas where ground water levels are high. Committee members accepted, and the police jury later approved, Ford’s suggestion that a form be signed prior to a building permit being issued.

According to the building permit acknowledgement, either the builder, designer or homeowner must sign that they are “…aware of the rising water table in the Red River Basin of Bossier Parish and they have taken the necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the new home…” at a designated location.

“This isn’t intended to prohibit building, we’re just wanting to be sure everyone is aware that problems could exist and that we’re interested in the safety and security of these new homes,” Ford said.