Donaldsonville City Council authorizes City Attorney to take action against Peoples Water Service

Donaldsonvillecityhall 2015

During Tuesday's regular meeting, the Donaldsonville City Council voted to authorize the City Attorney to file claims for damages and to indemnify the city under the franchise agreement with Peoples Water Company.

The action comes two weeks after the privately-owned water company was found by the state Department of Health and Hospitals to have high levels of chlorine dioxide in the water.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 22, 2016, city and parish officials worked to alert water customers of the problem with the water supply. Immediately, a bottled water distribution station was set up at the Department of Public Works building along Thibaut Drive.

For several days, bottled water was distributed while the city was under the warning.

City Attorney Charles Long said Tuesday the city has a month-to-month franchise agreement with the private company.

First, he asked for authorization to indemnify the city for any losses due to the company's actions.

Long said class-action lawsuits have been filed, including one with the city named as a defendant.

"The city has nothing to do with" the processes the company employs to purify, store, and distribute the water, he said.

But because the city has been named, the lawsuit cannot be ignored.

Secondly, Long said the city has sustained damages due to the event.

"We have nothing to do with it," Long stressed. "It's going to cost you some money to get out."