Shaw water leaks still being repaired
by Courtney Warren
May 01, 2014 | 2255 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Keith Thomas, director of Shaw Public Works, has been diligent in his efforts to bring the water system back up to code and have the state boil water notice lifted.

"We have been turning the water off and on throughout town to fix the lines. There's been a problem with the water for a long time and we had four or five main lines that were corrupt. We’re doing final repairs to get the boil water notice off," said Thomas

Thomas said three main lines have been repaired and there are three or four service lines that need to be repaired.

"We contacted the health department and they've agreed to delay this month's testing so we can get the lines fixed and hopefully get our samples in and get off this boil water notice," said Thomas.

"We will never get down to 0 leaks because the system is so old," he added.

Shaw has been under a boil water notice since December.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, this affects approximately 1,932 customers in the area.

Sampling showed the presence of total coliform bacteria in the drinking water.

After fixing the lines, Thomas will draw new samples.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of total coliform is a public health concern.

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems with the treatment process or pipes, which distribute the water.

The town of Gunnison also issued a Boil-Water Alert for customers who receive their drinking water from their water supply since February.

This affects 178 customers in the area.

Water system officials notified the Mississippi State Department of Health of a system wide pressure loss due to one or more line breaks.

When a distribution system loses pressure, contaminants can siphon back into the water. Public health officials consider any system that loses pressure contaminated until tests prove otherwise. Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed.

When there is a boil water notice if your area, Do not drink tap water while the water system is under a boil water advisory.

Do not drink from water fountains in parks, public or private buildings that receive water from the affected system.

Do not use ice unless it has been made with boiled water. Freezing will not necessarily kill harmful bacteria.

Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.

Wash your dishes in boiled water, or use paper plates for the next few days.

Wash your fruits and vegetables with boiled or bottled water since they may have been exposed to affected water from grocery store sprayers.

Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.

Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.

Cook with tap water if the food will be boiled for at least one minute.

For more information about the boil water notices call the local public works department or contact MSDH Bureau of Public Water Supply: Karen Walters, 601-576-7518 (8am - 5pm). After hours: 769-798-4258.