Lending support & critical information for hurricane recovery

Testing Louisiana coast for air and water contamination post disaster

Naomi Yoder, Healthy Gulf


Innovation and Description: Pollution Monitoring

We sampled ten households’ water for lead in Sulphur, LA. We then summarized the results and presented the results at community meetings and Sulphur City Council meetings.

Other Participants:

Cindy Robertson (Micah 6:8 Mission), Chris Campbell (EWG), Mira Olson (Drexel University), Kris Peterson (Lowlander Center), Matt Rota (Healthy Gulf), Adrienne Katner (LSU), Wilma Subra

Primary Disaster Justice Benefits:

Finding out which toxins are problematic in a municipal water supply is critical for providing water before, during and after a storm.

Secondary Disaster Justice Benefits:

People in Sulphur had been suffering with yellow and brown (rust colored) water for months, and this project helped to expose the issue to the City who had been hesitant to assume blame.

Would you recommend others (disaster survivors, disaster-impacted communities) learn more about the activity, project or program to consider adoption of a similar one?

Yes! Dr. Katner has worked on well and municipal water sampling after storms in rural Louisiana, and it is so important to know what’s in the water before the storm hits.

What refinements additional to the ones you have implemented would you recommend others consider if they wish to adopt the activity, project or program?

I would have had more outreach and education efforts, plus more fundraising to do more samples across town (and at places where young people gather like schools and day-cares).