See what grade Baton Rouge’s water system recently earned

Despite long-standing concerns regarding the quality of Baton Rouge’s aquifer, the city’s water system received an ‘A’ rating from the Louisiana Department of Health in a new report.

The letter grades for community water systems were initiated as part of the health department’s Safe Drinking Water Program. The grades—released earlier this month—are preliminary, with final grades scheduled to be posted in early May. The final grades will take into account financial sustainability and customer satisfaction.

LDH lists five different water systems in East Baton Rouge Parish: City of Baker, City of Zachary, Baton Rouge Water Company, Joint Emergency Services Training Center in Zachary, and Audubon Park Apartments Water System. Each water system received an ‘A’ rating.

Despite the ‘A’ rating, Baton Rouge had points deducted for unspecified operations and management deficiencies as well as additional deductions for levels of iron and/or manganese greater than the allowed containment levels.

State Sen. Fred Mills, R-St. Martinville, who authored the Community Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Act in 2021 that created the program, told USA Today Network that the goal of the program was to make water quality transparent to everyone and that everybody can understand if their water system got an ‘A’ or ‘F.’ USA Today Network estimates that about 10% of the state is served by water systems that received a ‘D’ or ‘F’ rating.

Check out LDH’s interactive map or the full list of grades for the state. Read a Business Report story from May about the challenges the Baton Rouge aquifer faces and the efforts to protect it here.

This story originally appeared in a Jan. 25 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.