Energy News | Officials meeting on water contamination issue in S. Caddo Parish

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) – The Caddo Sheriff’s office, Exco officials and the Department of Environmental Quality are meeting at this hour to determine what the current status is of the water well contamination that has affected more than 100 people in S. Caddo Parish.

Sheriff Steve Prator said he would hold a 5 pm. news conference to update everyone on the status of the contamination. You can get the latest information on the situation live during KSLA News 12 at 5.


Updated news release from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office on the water well contaminations in south Caddo Parish:

Representatives from the DEQ will continue monitoring water wells today in  south Caddo Parish. Some areas where natural gas was detected in water wells will be retested, and new areas will also be tested.

In the meantime, the evacuation of about 135 families in the area will remain in effect. Residents will be allowed home for brief periods today to gather additional clothing and needed supplies. Residents are encouraged to gather any needed items during daylight hours.

Evacuated residents with pets can board their animals at local kennels, save their receipts, and be reimbursed by Exco Operating Company.

“We’re not ready to say your home is safe,” said Sheriff Steve Prator. “Testing will continue today, and another assessment on the status of evacuations will be made in the morning.”

For those families that remained in their homes, the DEQ cautioned against using well water for any reason. They also said to avoid smoking and open flames in the affected area.

Officials also announced today that “flaring” the well site has begun and is expected to produce flares up to 75 feet in height. This is a normal activity, officials said.

Exco officials will meet with evacuated residents at 6 p.m. tonight at the Comfort Inn, 6:45 p.m. at the Clarion, and 8 p.m. at the Hilton.

In the meantime, the information hotline established by the Shreveport Fire Department remains open. That number is 675-2255.

All currently announced road closures remain in effect.


CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) – Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says it will be at least another 24 hours before residents evacuated from parts of S. Caddo Parish can return home.

During a morning news conference, Prator said the DEQ had been monitoring the contaminated wells and that so far there was “not much progress.” DEQ will continue to test the contaminated wells during the day.

Prator also said more residents could get well contamination notices depending on what the testing shows.

Authorities, Exco officials and DEQ agents will meet again at 4 p.m. and will hold a media briefing at 5 p.m.
CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) – UPDATE: Monday’s evacuations in South Caddo Parish could be expanded even further.  Additional notifications went out to 100 more households in area just south of the Shreveport city limits just after 8:00 p.m., tripling the number of residents forced from their homes by potentially flammable well water.  The additional evacuations were ordered as ongoing testing of the groundwater by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality found elevated levels of natural gas in 35 out of 45 private wells.

Residents in the affected area have been warned that, “though unlikely, the water from your well may have the potential of being  flammable. Do not drink or use any well water and do not give well  water to your pets.  They are also advised not to turn on any faucets, flush the toilets, or smoke cigars, pipes or cigarettes.

Streets included in this expanded evacuation now include: Pueblo, Lariat, Goldsberry, Goldsberry Circle, Harris Ln., and Norris Ferry South of Southern Trace Parkway.

Streets already closed are Norris Ferry Extension, Debroeck, Willow Ridge, and Cypress Gardens.

All those without a place to relocate have been advised to “report immediately” to the Hilton-Shreveport Convention Center, located downtown at 104 South Market Street, where representatives are set up to provide  further information.

More than 50 residents have already been evacuated throughout the day to other hotels in Shreveport.

In addition, the Shreveport Fire Department has activated an Information Hotline at 675-2255.

The DEQ has been testing wells in the area since early Monday morning, after workers at an Exco drill site noted elevated levels of natural gas in the air and irregular pressure readings while drilling one on three wells on the “super-pad” site located in the 11000 block of Norris Ferry Road.

Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator says two of the wells were filled with cement, and air contamination dissipated by early afternoon.  But by 7:00 p.m., Prator revealed that plans are in place for those wells to be uncapped early Tuesday morning and “flared.”  Flaring is a relatively common practice in the industry, intended to burn off excess gas.

Now the focus is on determining how far the flammable gas has gotten into the Wilcox Aquifer, which serves as the main water supply for Parish residents outside the city limits of Shreveport.

Sheriff Prator says another briefing is planned for Tuesday morning with updates on the DEQ’s groundwater testing, which will determine whether evacuations will continue or even possibly be expanded.


CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office reports about 25 homes in south Caddo Parish were evacuated as a precaution Monday morning, after gas vapors were detected at a well site.

Deputies say that vapors were first detected at the drilling rig near the 11,000 block of Norris Ferry Road around 8 p.m. Sunday night. The situation stabilized, but vapors reappeared around 4 a.m. today.

Initially, only a few residents within a 100-yard radius of the well were evacuated, but that area was soon expanded. Roads currently closed include Cypress Garden, Willow Ridge, Debroeck, and Norris Ferry south of Southern Trace.

Caddo Sheriff’s Haz Mat, Louisiana State Police Haz Mat, and DEQ remain on the scene. Officials are currently testing water and air quality to determine whether residents will be allowed back into their neighborhoods.

Click on the video to see Carolyn Roy’s live report from KSLA News 12 at 5.