NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Efforts are being made to slow down the saltwater wedge making its way up the Mississippi River, but it seems at this point that it’s inevitable that the intrusion will make its way to New Orleans, possibly contaminating water systems and affecting residents’ daily lives.
“At a certain limit, it’s unhealthy to drink obviously. Also, the land. It could be a problem for freshwater plants and aquatic species, but we’re mostly concerned about the freshwater supply,” David Ramirez said.
Sewerage and Water Board officials say while the water supply is currently clean, they are preparing for possible impacts. Something many local businesses are also doing.
Canseco’s market employees say they’re already looking for ways to work around the potential problems.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of problems with the deli, especially if it’s a lot of salt water. I think we’re definitely going to have to figure out what we’re going to do with that. Probably use a bunch of bottled water when we cook instead of using that. When washing dishes, that’s going to be an issue, so we’re going to have to figure that; probably the same thing fill it up with a bottled water and everything,” Canseco’s Market manager Sarah Debarbieris said.
And with demand for bottled water expected to shoot up, Canseco’s is also preparing for a possible rush.
“We got three trucks a week now so we’re going to be just stocking up extra on all three of the trucks every week and just having as much back piled as we can and just see how much we need to be putting out every day probably gonna have to put pallets out for that yes, like out on the floor. If it’s not out, we gotta get more you know?” Canseco’s Market manager Orchid Raine said.
While there’s still time to prepare, the clock is now ticking for local residents and businesses.
“A little worried for sure. Especially with the holidays coming up cause not only do we have to deal with that, but we have to deal with the water possibly being contaminated with a bunch of salt water and so that’s going to be a big issue for us,” Debarbieris said.