Drew boil water alert ends
by Rory Doyle
Sep 05, 2012 | 2143 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sign on Drew City Hall's front doors indicates the boil water ban on city water was lifted by the Mississippi State Department of Health Tuesday afternoon. Drew had been under alert since June 12.
A sign on Drew City Hall's front doors indicates the boil water ban on city water was lifted by the Mississippi State Department of Health Tuesday afternoon. Drew had been under alert since June 12.
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The boil-water notice was finally lifted for the frustrated citizens of Drew Tuesday afternoon.

The Mississippi State Department of Health withdrew the warning and declared city water safe to drink, a problem that has plagued residents since the alert was issued mid-June.

Test sampling had shown the presence of total coliform bacteria in the city's water wells, causing people to boil water vigorously or spend money on bottled water.

A sign posted on Drew City Hall's front doors before Tuesday's monthly board of aldermen meeting read, "The State Health Department Division of Water has lifted the boil water order for the city of Drew."

Besides the sign, the board shared little information as to why the ban was lifted.

Melvin Matthews, Drew water and street supervisor, did not discuss any details to the board or public in attendance.

"My only report is the ban is lifted," said Matthews, the only remarks in his monthly statement.

Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick was not present for the meeting.

Alderman Keisha Phillips spoke about the water before the meeting.

"I'm excited it's been lifted — we have citizens who were pretty much not aware of the situation," said Phillips. "It's a good thing that the ban has been lifted."

Melissa Parker, deputy director of the Office of Environmental Health with the MSDH, released a statement early today.

"The lengthy nature of getting a well cleared is not uncommon, however, that coupled with repeated positive samples caused the alert to last longer than all would have liked," said Parker.

"The state is very proud that Greg Caraway, P.E., regional supervising engineer for MSDH, was dedicated enough to solving this issue that he assisted the city on Saturday and Sunday in their sampling efforts to get this boil water notice lifted.

"We are also fortunate to have technical service providers such as Mississippi Rural Water willing to spend a great deal of time on the ground to resolve this matter."

The Health Department's Web site lists a number of suggestions before citizens return to normal water usage:

*Flush faucets for a total of 10 minutes to introduce system water throughout house plumbing. Example: 1 faucet — run for 10 minutes; 2 faucets — run both for 5 minutes; 3 faucets — run each for 3-4 minutes.

*Flush any faucet a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet.

*Discard any drinks, ice, food, etc. made during the boil water notice.

*Rewash any food or drink contact items (knifes, forks, plates, etc.) with "cleared" system water.

*Check water filters (in faucets, refrigerators and elsewhere) and replace if necessary.

*Do not use water from your hot water heater for drinking until several exchanges of the tank have occurred.

*Run dishwasher through a cycle or two before washing dishes.