Ever-evolving salt water forecast further delays impacts in Belle Chasse, clears St. Bernard

The latest timeline from the Army Corps of Engineers further delays the saltwater wedge's...
The latest timeline from the Army Corps of Engineers further delays the saltwater wedge's impact in Belle Chasse and Dalcour. Officials now do not anticipate chloride levels to exceed 250 ppm in St. Bernard. (Oct. 18)(USACE)
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 10:52 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The forecast for the saltwater wedge’s impacts along the Mississippi River has shifted yet again.

The latest update from the Army Corps of Engineers on Wed., Oct. 18, further delays the salt water’s impact at drinking water intakes in Belle Chasse and Dalcour. Officials now predict the chloride levels will not exceed the EPA standard of 250ppm in St. Bernard Parish.

  • Belle Chasse: Previously delayed to Oct. 27, the new projection now places the impact date at Nov. 13.
  • Dalcour: Similarly, Dalcour’s impact forecast has seen a further delay. Originally expected on Nov. 1, the latest forecast is now for Nov. 18.
  • St. Bernard: In a notable change, St. Bernard is no longer anticipated to experience chloride levels exceeding 250 ppm. This marks a significant deviation from the previous forecast of Nov. 8, signaling improved conditions for this location.

On Wednesday, officials in hard-hit Plaquemines Parish lifted drinking water advisories on both the west and east banks, where residents have been battling salty water since early summer. Millions of gallons of fresh water and a reverse osmosis machine have kept chloride levels consistently low enough for people to resume using tap water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

Work to raise and augment the underwater sill in Alliance, Louisiana was completed last week, which has provided significant relief upriver.

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