United Water System Inc.
Arnaudville, LA., borders the towns of St. Landry and St. Martin just north of Lafayette, which locals may say “In the belly of Acadiana”. The town got its name from the Brothers Arnaud, who donated a large amount of land to the town to make a church where everyone was welcome. The rural areas of Arnaudville and a few surrounding towns rely on United Water System, Inc. to provide water services.
United Water System, Inc. originated in 1971 as a non-profit water treatment and distribution corporation. Through the years, the corporation started adding more customers, which also led to adding more water distribution lines. In 1994, the system began making improvements consisting of filter and softener media replacement, an addition of a pressure filter and generator, and a replacement of a Well Pump.
The system continued making improvements, but through the years, the filter that they used did not consistently remove enough arsenic to comply with every quarter. United Water System, Inc. was passing quarterly arsenic tests, but they failed the final quarter’s test. The site needed an upgrade to address the arsenic violations.
Arsenic is a common containment of Louisiana groundwater. Systems faced with arsenic levels above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards can sometimes change water sources to avoid the issue, but as in the case of the United Water System, this is not always possible.
In early 2022, United Water System, Inc. reached out to Communities Unlimited (CU) requesting matching funds after they received grant approval from the Water Sector Program. The project includes planning, design, and construction upgrades to its water treatment and storage facilities at its treatment plant site.
CU assisted the system with the funding. The board of the United Water System, Inc. as well as the operator are all staying active and dedicated to the project. Everyone involved is staying engaged to make sure that the system is compliant and working towards supplying healthy water to the customers.