Posted on November 2, 2023
NEW ORLEANS — The heating element removed from Monique Plaisance’s water heater in September was disintegrating, streaked with rust and covered in a dry crust. She blamed the corrosion on the water piped in from the area’s longtime drinking water source: the Mississippi River.
It was a similar story not far away at the Black Velvet Oyster Bar and Grill.
“We’re draining the hot water heater every few days to get most, or a good bit, of the salt out of that,” owner Byron Marinovich said. “The ice machine has been off since the third week of April.”
Plaisance’s home and Marinovich’s restaurant are in the Buras community of rural Plaquemines Parish, roughly 60 miles southeast of New Orleans and 20 to 30 miles upriver from where the Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. As in New Orleans, drinking water in the parish is drawn from the river.