Water Management Planning – Surface and Groundwater assessments

Jimmy’s Corner

by Jimmy Couvillion
Eno Scientific Well Finder in use

With regards to assessments of groundwater levels in South Caddo I have purchased a new sound wave detection measurement from Eno Scientific.  The accuracy is within .1 ft. according to the specs.  It works with access through the 1/2″ vent on the wellhead cap.  Sound is produced and echo distances are recorded and the distance is displayed. The measurement unit has a port to attach to a smart phone, or other devises for sending data to a central database.

I have been communicating with the Mayor of Ida, which is having trouble completing a public supply well.  An assessment of the existing levels of groundwater will be helpful in determining where to complete a good well.  Six dry test holes have been drilled, some with tight sand not able to produce 85 gals per minute and some simply dry. One driller hit a rock and said he detected brackish water at 670 ft.   Sparta is suppose to be 400 feet and below that is the Wilcox.    I found from looking at oil and gas logs that the required casing through the water sands has been on average 850 to 875 feet from the top of the ground in wells East of Hwy 71 and 2 miles west of the river.

Once I finish with the Ida assessment of groundwater, I will start the process in South Caddo.  I do not expect to find a serious geographical problem with groundwater levels in South Caddo, because few well owners have reported problems.  Geologists know the East side of south Caddo Parish as a formation of water sand with limited production. I have all the registered wells on Earth Google in 36 sections or 6 townships and that covers all of South Caddo and some on Cross Lake. This data however is old.  One has to determine the annual decline of water level in the area and adjust the gage level to current year.  A geographical grid groundwater assessment taken at least twice a year will tell us a lot on determining when such areas of the Parish will need surface water. We will then have current data to study based on a measurement in January and another in August.  The August reading compared to the January reading will determine the recovery rate from summer use. With this information we can make a better guess when a surface water system needs to be in place within maybe 5 years.

At this point it is not clear to me based on history of relationships between the Parish and City that they can, or willing, to communicate and cooperate to work towards a Surface Water Management Plan. Certainly if the city plans on planning for future water needs for South Caddo exhibiting a position of being in their interest or responsibility or authority the City and Parish should have a better understanding between themselves on who is responsible for a plan for South Caddo.

A Working Plan

If the known geology/hydrology had been in a planning policy available to the public and MPC then the development of subdivisions with the developer planning to use groundwater would have been different, maybe.

On background Bryant Crawford addressed the Southern Hills Homeowners this past Monday night. He went through a two-hour presentation of the 2012 City budget He made comments about Cross Lake having plenty of water and was never in a low water level state this past summer. No mention of sediment buildup and its contribution to declines in capacity, but said the Lake could be dredged for 50 million.  The Corp report has a different figure.  There is no reason why all the sediment has to be removed in a short time.  An on going dredging program makes sense, buying the dredge and putting a city crew dredging and selling sand makes a new enterprise fund. I suggest a channel being cut from the intake pipes towards the I-220 Bridge and beyond.  Gravity will feed to the lower elevation the bottom sand from the adjacent sides of the channel. The EPA, I am told, doesn’t like the idea of dredging because it brings chemicals and other stuff off the bottom. The plant will take in a higher degree of sediments during a close by dredging operation because the sediments are flowing in higher levels in the water.

Someone soon needs to determine how much expansion room is left at the Amis facility and whether or not such expansion with Cross Lake as a primary source is feasible. The City of Shreveport and Bossier City are not participating with Caddo or Bossier Parish on this new water study to be done by The Shaw Group.  Since Shreveport is stagnant in population growth and Bossier City and Parish are expanding, which side of the river does it make sense constructing a new water plant or should each side of the river have its own new plant?

To determine how much water is drawn from Cross Lake by shoreline owner pumps would require a flow meter and someone to read them.  Exactly how much water is used by shoreline owners for irrigation of lawns would require metering.  Does this amount of water mean much in the overall usage?  Is its’ requirement politically correct? And what good conservation value can be practiced unless the City is willing to write an ordinance limiting such water use and be willing to enforce such conservation ordinance.

I see no reason why the meetings held on this subject and the infrastructure meetings could not have a group email listing.  Those interested parties could submit their email addresses and be notified in short order of a meeting.  The minutes of the meetings could be emailed to the list in an attachment. That’s if public input and communication is really desired. Sooner or later local government must determine that an informed taxpayer will be necessary to promote more tax revenues to accomplish what must be done.  We error when we leave water and street/sewerage management up to the lack of will of elected officials. The plan must be bigger and more important than getting elected again. Is that possible?

A professor from Michigan University Terry Reynolds came down to Shreveport, stayed for a while and documented the history of the McNeil Pumping Station.  The book is very informative, copyright 2009 by McNeill Street Pumping Station Preservation; source is the Reynolds report of 1980.  The title is ” Cardinal Necessity”.  I concluded from reading the book, private operators should stay away from local governments and not contract to supply water. Wicker nor Mike Strong have read the book, based on their desires to supplement potable water supply under a contract with the City or Parish. The book is available at the McNeill Pumping Station, now known as the Water Museum. Access to the Water Museum is from the Common Street Extension.  Next to the organized layout of stuff seen in the General Scrap junkyard. Both the City and Parish fail to have an interest in promoting the Water Museum as an economic engine with taxpayer dollars, but they could benefit from reading the book on the history of water and the early water issues encountered by city hall and the use of Twelve Mile Bayou and the Red River water in the early days.

Jimmy Couvillion
754 7509