LELAND — The Black Bayou Water Association, which now connects to nearly 3,000 rural customers in the Delta, was started about 30 years ago by a rice and soybean farmer with no water service experience.
David Koehn, now 76, had plans to build a mobile home park on his land in Washington County but didn’t have a central water source to offer residents. At the time, Koehn and others in the area drank from their personal shallow well, usually filled with brown, iron-laden water.
So the farmer went home-by-home to see who’d want to pay for a new water service. He took out some loans, found local volunteers to form a board, and by 1991 had the Black Bayou Water Association up and running, serving about 350 homes.
“It started as a community service and it turned into a career,” Koehn said.