The Latest on problems with the water system in the Louisiana city of Donaldsonville (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Louisiana's state health officer says it will be at least two to three days before residents of Donaldsonville can begin drinking their tap water again.

Residents of the town southeast of Baton Rouge were advised not to drink the water this week after an inspection showed the possibility that it contained levels of chlorine dioxide surpassing federal environmental guidelines. Elevated levels of the chemical can cause health problems.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry said Thursday that the state has approved a plan by the privately run Peoples Water Service Co. to begin disinfecting with chlorine instead of chlorine dioxide. Implementing and testing will take two to three days.

Guidry said the "do not drink" advisory was issued out of an "abundance of caution" after the department learned of one test indicating an elevated level of chlorine dioxide


7 a.m.

The mayor of a Louisiana city has declared a state of emergency after the state warned residents not to drink tap water.

Multiple news outlets report that the state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday that Donaldsonville's privately run Peoples Water Company had failed to report chlorine dioxide levels four to five times EPA guidelines. The state advised people not to drink the water until further tests could be conducted.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan declared the state of emergency Tuesday night.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry is Louisiana's state health officer. He says exposure to elevated levels of the chemical can cause serious health effects to the nervous systems of some infants, young children and the fetuses of pregnant women. Small quantities are used as a water-treatment disinfectant.

The company serves 10,000 customers in Donaldsonville, which is south of Baton Rouge.