Needed water repairs underway in Shaw
by Paisley Boston
Mar 14, 2014 | 2560 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shaw has been under a boil water notice since December and now the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has issued a temporary water contact advisory for Porter Bayou within the city limits due to issues with the wastewater treatment system.

According to Public Works Director Keith Thomas the water problems are within the wells.

"Lightening struck our well in December. We had to go report it to the insurance company and then get an estimate from Mid-South Water. We are currently running off of one well and every time we put chlorine in the well, it does not shut off. The chlorine continues to run out of it and it is being wasted," said Thomas.

Thomas said chlorine costs around $100 and it would not make sense to continue to buy chlorine when it runs out in a day.

"Towns just don’t have money like they use to and grants are almost a thing of the past," he continued.

"When I realized that the well was not working, I contacted the phone company. They checked the lines but they did not find any discrepancies. I then called the electric company and they informed us that it was an electrical problem," he added.

He said before they can remedy the water situation, Mid-South Water must repair a panel box that operates the well.

"We are just waiting on them to complete their end of the repair process. I spoke with someone from the company and I was informed that the repairs will be completed by Friday or Monday," said Thomas.

"As soon as they replace the panel, the wells should be able to communicate with each then we will not lose chlorine," he added.

Due to unsafe water conditions, MDEQ recommends that people avoid water contact recreation such as swimming, wading, or fishing in these waters.

In addition, people should avoid eating fish or anything else taken from these waters until further notice.

"Hopefully by March 25 or 26, we should be off of a boil water notice. When everything is fixed, we will have a new well and we should not have a problem with water pressure going down," said Thomas.

"Once it is fixed we will still have to allow the chlorine run through the system about two or three days," he added.

Thomas said the Mississippi Department of Health is the only entity that can lift the boil water notice.

"I am not certified to do water samples but we have a private contractor that handles this. Our water contractor is licensed by the State of Mississippi. After he collects the samples, he will then send them to the Health Department, where they will be tested," said Thomas.

"If the tests reveals that the water is bacteria free then they will give us the O.K. to lift the boil water notice," he added.

Thomas said the well system would be completely repaired before the contractor comes out.

He said although the water issues have been a hassle for the residents, the public works department has been able to do some much needed repair to the ground pipes.

"You can look at it as being a double edged sword. We have repaired several bad leaks. "The pipes in the ground are over 50 years old. My crew has been out repairing pipes for over two weeks. The water system has never been redone since it has been put down," added Thomas.

Thomas said he has been doing everything he can to remedy the situation and he is asking for the citizens to remain patient.

"If the infrastructure holds up after it is repair, we should not go under a boil notice for a while," said Thomas.