St Joseph

Parish: Tensas Parish

The town of St. Joseph has had discolored water for years. After decades of neglect and initial inaction from state agencies, lead was found in the drinking water. Governor John Bel Edwards declared a State of Emergency and the National Guard provided drinking water while the city distribution system was replaced/repaired. LEAN provided technical support to residents early on and has participated throughout the testing and response process including providing water bottles to residents. This effort continues as residents work to eliminate the threat of lead still potentially present within the aged pipes and appliances of their residences. St. Joseph’s water problems are one example of approx. 400 water systems that provide inadequate drinking water to residents across the state.

This atlas is a working document developed by community members in partnership with LEAN as they work toward resolving the challenges they face. This content is under construction and continues to be refined as new data is compiled and community situations evolve. Please excuse any errors or omissions. It is our hope that documentation of these struggles allows a greater opportunity to learn from them and, ultimately, to improve the lives of residents across Louisiana who face these significant challenges.