Early tests show improving water conditions near new Mandeville beach

Early tests show improving water conditions near new Mandeville beach

MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - There's good news tonight from the mayor of Mandeville about water quality at a new city beach. It comes just four days after a major sewage leak was discovered in a pipe coming from a nearby state park.

The beach was crowded just a few hours ago, but few people were swimming. That's because fecal coliform levels have proven to be exceedingly high. But Mayor Donald Villere says new tests tell a different story.

"We took two samples at Bayou Castine where we're at 734. At little Bayou Castine near the beach it was lower - around 104," Villere said.

Those numbers are well within acceptable limits, but some parents along the beach tonight say they're going to wait.

The tests, conducted by Curtis Environmental show the water is safe. But tests conducted two days ago by the Lake Pontchrtrain Basin Foundation show cause for concern along Bayou Castine near the beach. Those tests show fecal coliform levels still exceeding the 4,000 level which is exceedingly high. That's something Villere says he'll investigate.

"We'll have a conversation with the sampling company to see if they're testing at the same spot," he said.

The new tests were performed the day after a leaky sewer pipe was discovered feeding into Bayou Castine from Fountainbleu State Park. The city of Mandeville is now trucking out sewerage, saying the busted pipe can no longer be used.

"We are going to help the state. We don't want them to dump in the bayou and will use our truck to help them," said Villere.

Residents like Jeff Airington say they'd like to see a number of tests before they allow their children to swim. So in spite of some positive news about water quality, there is clearly still some wariness from parents.

Villere says a meter from the Fountainebleau State Park sewage line has been broken since October.

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