Shaw obtains loan for water system; Mound Bayou boil alert lifted
by Courtney Warren
Aug 15, 2014 | 2446 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The boil water alert, imposed by the Mississippi State Department of Health, has been lifted in Shaw.

Shaw's alert was issued on Dec. 31, 2013.

Tests performed by the Mississippi Department of Health Public Laboratory indicate the water is now safe to drink.

"We got an emergency loan from the Mississippi Department of Health and that was to help repair the dilapidated pipes so we had contractors come in and began repairing those pipes,” said Shaw Public Works Manager Keith Thomas.

“We put in two chlorine boosters and pumps at both wells. Both wells have been chlorinated. We're still not finished with all of the projects for repaired leaks but we should be back to normal as normal can be soon.

“Our next phase and in a separate project we will be going directly into the sewer. We want to have everything operating fine before winter sets in," he said.

In a previous article Thomas said the poor water and sewer infrastructure was due to outdated pipes.

"A lot of the pipes that we have are old and in 1973 or '74 the use of lead pipes was banned but if the pipes were already in the ground they would continue to use them. Although pipes were being used, the waster was tested frequently. Our pipes are made of cast-iron and other materials," he added.

Thomas said in 2013, County Engineer Bob Eley estimated that it would take between $4 and $5 million to repair the entire system – this was only for water and sewer.

"It is very important to keep waste water and sewer infrastructure maintained because the city is a business. We receive funding from people who purchase water. We have to dispose of their wastewater. It is highly essential to have an adequate and clean water supply because we want our customers to be satisfied," continued Thomas.

"In a lot of old residential areas, I have seen water and sewer lines running side by side but this is dangerous because if your water line breaks and your sewer line has a hole in it then this could cause water contamination," he added.

Thomas said his department works diligently to ensure that the water is safe for drinking and in the last few months, he has been receiving support from the citizens of Shaw.

"We are also working to clean up our city. This is our community and we are going to take care of it. The most important aspect about the entire situation is the fact that the community is coming together to fix this issue," said Thomas.

"People are starting to realize that you cannot always rely on the government for assistance," he added.

Thomas said they discovered a lot of the service lines going into people's homes are inadequate and should have been abandoned years ago.

"In the future we will go back and address this problem—probably in the spring. We are going to try to stick to these major leaks and have identified the problem, service lines. We plan to replace those," said Thomas.

In other water news, the Boil Water Alert issued for Mound Bayou has also been lifted by the Mississippi Department of Health

The alert was issued on Aug. 6, affecting 1,755 customers, due to a system wide pressure loss.

When your boil-water notice is lifted:

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 (knives, 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.