The outdated pipes are causing a number of leaks, backups and accumulations in multiple locations.
Mayor Willie Mae Johnson and the board of aldermen discussed solutions with Shaw Public Works Director Keith Thomas at Tuesday's monthly board meeting.
"We need to find grants to repair the infrastructure. With the age of the pipes the problems keep getting worse," said Thomas. "Right now we're patching over the corrosion and rust but it's only getting worse."
Thomas estimated the present pipes are around 60 years old, long overdue for an overhaul.
"We need to find a solution," added Thomas. "Winter is bad but summer can be even worse, especially if it's a dry summer. That's when pipes and the ground start shifting."
Mud, debris and gravel are also causing flow issues.
The city is currently employing a patch-repair method, as it's the only affordable option at this point. Alderman Terry Collins asked Thomas if it was wise for the city to keep spending money on patching leaks when new ones keep arising.
"We can't afford to maintain our dying system, right," asked Collins. "I know it would cost us a whole lot less to obtain a loan to redo our entire system.
"We're getting a lot of complaints, but we don't have the funds to fix everything ourselves. We need to find out what would be the most valuable repairs to our system."
Johnson quickly interjected and confirmed she is talking with Rural Development, Rural Water and the Mississippi Development Authority to expedite support in the repair process.
"I'm talking with them to see how we can get grants and loans to improve our systems," said Johnson.
For the meantime, the board unanimously voted to request a backhoe and operator from the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors to help to fix the leaks.
The request would ask for use of the equipment for one week's time.
In other meeting news, Johnson also reminded the board of the U.S. Small Business Administration workshop to be held in Shaw on Jan. 17 from 6-8 p.m.
The free event will be hosted at the city hall located at 101 Faison St. and will highlight a variety of SBA programs including loans, counseling, business development resources and government contracting.
"We want to focus on bringing more revenue to Shaw and a lot of citizens want to know more about opening their own businesses," said Johnson.
"The revenue here is not what it was in the past. The Small Business Association will be here to answer a lot of questions."
Those looking to start a business, or want to expand an existing business, are welcome to register for the event.
Non-Shaw residents are also allowed to pre-register.
Space is limited, so reserve a spot by calling 662-754-3131 or 662-719-5694 no later than Jan. 16.