Navigating the Waters: LRA's Ongoing Updates on Mississippi River Saltwater Intrusion & Business Preparedness
In the wake of the unprecedented threat posed by saltwater intrusion into the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) remains vigilant in its efforts to keep the community informed.
Recent updates, as conveyed by LRA President and CEO Stan Harris, reveal evolving dynamics in the situation. During a recent collaborative discussion with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), it was disclosed that the anticipated dates for saltwater intrusion have been extended, and there's even a possibility of no impact at all.
Affected parishes are proactively constructing pipelines to transport supplemental freshwater from upriver to crucial water processing plants. The LDH has implemented a robust plan to test water salinity, providing ongoing monitoring.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness disseminates regular updates through their website (emergency.la.gov), ensuring real-time information on potential saltwater intrusion.
As the LRA continues to diligently monitor reports from government agencies, the latest insights shed light on the constructive progress of supplemental pipelines, offering a glimmer of hope amidst this challenging scenario.
October 9 Update:
Building on the positive developments reported October 5, the LRA remains steadfast in providing detailed updates on the progression of saltwater intrusion in the Mississippi River. The Corps commits to weekly updates on the saltwater wedge's location, should it advance in the river.
Noteworthy considerations for businesses include the US Food and Drug Administration's salinity trigger at 250 ppm, with a focus on taste, and specific recommendations for vulnerable populations like nursing mothers or those with kidney conditions.
In discussions with the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, efforts to maintain dilution levels below 250 ppm are ongoing, with current testing showing 40-60 ppm. For businesses reliant on municipal water, especially those with equipment like ice machines, tea and coffee brewers, and cooling towers, it is advised to consult equipment manufacturers or their manuals for salinity-specific recommendations.
The LRA assures its members that updates will be disseminated promptly as the situation unfolds, emphasizing the importance of adapting business practices to safeguard against potential disruptions caused by saltwater intrusion.