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An above-ground water storage tower, as seen Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, that supplies the  Parish Utilities of Ascension water system that serves the city of Donaldsonville. The system was overwhelmed by high demand during a cold snap in January 2018, but parish officials say they have made progress improving the system and are seeking a rate increase for future upgrades.

GONZALES — Officials running Ascension Parish's west bank water systems say they are prepared for subfreezing temperatures Tuesday night and early Wednesday but are asking residents to watch for water leaks and conserve water.

Low temperatures in Ascension are expected to be in the 20s overnight and into Wednesday morning, according to National Weather Service reports.

The parish officials who operate two west bank water systems, Parish Utilities of Ascension and Ascension Consolidated Utilities District No. 1, are urging customers to protect exposed pipes and not to run faucets beyond a slow drip.

In early January 2018, another cold snap forced the parish to cut water service for several hours to the more than 3,200 customers on the PUA system, which serves the city of Donaldsonville, after a combination of leaks and running faucets overwhelmed the system.

The shutdown occurred due to low pressure and, once pressure was restored, the area remained under a boil water advisory until the system passed required water quality testing.

Ascension official admits preparations lacking for the freeze; cold overwhelms Donaldsonville water plant

At the time, parish officials acknowledged that they did not have standard procedures to build extra water reserves ahead of cold weather, but since then have improved those procedures. The system, an old private water operation the parish bought in 2016, has also gotten added tracking systems and is in line for millions of dollars in other upgrades.

Parish officials said in a statement Tuesday that water towers are full and technical crews are on alert.

Parish officials also urged residents to check on their neighbors, particularly the elderly and shut-ins. 

Parish officials urged residents to watch for signs of water leaks, especially at the homes of neighbors who are away. Residents can report leaks by calling an emergency line at (225) 450-1078 or the Citizens Service Center at (225) 450-1200.

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