Water concerns still exist
by Rory Doyle
Sep 25, 2012 | 1771 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Citizens of Drew were relieved of a major problem when the Mississippi State Department of Health declared the city's water safe to drink at the beginning of September.

The city had been under a boil-water notice since June after test samples revealed the presence of total coliform bacteria within city water wells.

"Most definitely the people of Drew are happier now that the water situation has been fixed," said Drew Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick. "Nobody's had any complaints with things back to normal."

Frustrations had been running high because residents were forced to boil water and cool it before being able it to drink it safely.

The other option was to drive to Ruleville or other surrounding towns to purchase water, as Drew does not have a supermarket.

"With the wells being old, fixing the problem sooner was out of my control," said Kilpatrick. "Fixing it is a process."

Kilpatrick said the process involved working with the state to utilize a chlorine treatment program.

The MSDH required three consecutive days of clear water samples before the ban could be lifted — something that wasn't accomplished until the beginning of the month.

"I'm sorry it took so long, but the problem has been corrected and it couldn't be fixed overnight," Kilpatrick said. "I'd like to thank everyone in the community for having the patience to let us get this situation straight."

Kilpatrick said he was not the only one from Drew who continued to drink the water while the alert was active, as he we was not overly concerned.

"We didn't even have to inform the community about the issue, but we did," he said. "I do what best for the people of Drew, and it's better to be safe than sorry."

Drew resident Joe Partridge said he and his family are back to drinking the water now that the ban has been removed.

"We are drinking it and we're using it for cooking," said Partridge. "I figured if we were going to get sick we'd be sick already — but I can't say I completely trust everything that's going on."

Resident George Washington was very skeptical of the water during the ban, but said he now feels more confident in the water supply.

"I believe everything's going to be alright," Washington said. "We're still buying bottled water to drink, but we started back up using the (tap) water for our cooking. So far everything's been all right."

Others around town continue to express concern.

"I'm still not drinking it and I definitely prefer bottled water," said resident Patricia Williams.

"But I am relieved it's been fixed because of the children in this town — I can't imagine how much money it costs to buy bottled water for all the little kids."

Drew Water and Street Supervisor Melvin Matthews, who worked closely with the MSDH, was unavailable for comment.