MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A rare boil water advisory is still in effect in Memphis. MLGW said it still has crews working around the clock to get water restored for hundreds of thousands of families.
UPDATE: (2/25 6:10 a.m.)
FOX13 spoke with MLGW representative Gale Jones Carson early Thursday morning about the progress and improvements being made as the boil water advisory continues.
She said MLGW is “hoping to hear something within a few days.”
The company is sending more water samples to TDEC this evening. If the samples are approved, the boil water advisory could possibly be lifted. If they are not approved, more samples will be taken.
Water pressure is up and improving across Shelby County, Carson said.
Leaks are still being repaired.
Customers are asked to continue to conserve water and limit water use.
UPDATE 2/24 (4:40 p.m.)
Still no word on when the boil water advisory may be lifted, but Memphis has moved from a yellow status to green. That basically means water pumps and usage is getting to a better overall flow.
The status was red just a couple of days ago, but MLHW says there is still a lot of work to be done.
So far over $3.5 million has been used toward repairs. That includes fixing 98 of 119 water broken water mains. This means around 25 million gallons of water are being lost a day due to these breaks.
“We want to make sure that we’re back up and running and can lift this advisory,” said MLGW President JT Young. “All that we’ve done so far we haven’t found any contaminants and we can still see the system getting back to the healthy nature that it needs to be.”
They say customers have been doing well conserving water, but there are a lot of places where there are still issues.
They’re working with the state late Wednesday evening and early Thursday to get more information on the boil water advisory, so we could see an update to this advisory in the coming hours or days.
They say if you don’t have any water at your home or business that you should call the helpline at (901) 544-6549 and they’ll work to get assistance to you as soon as possible.
“Extended payment plans customers can apply through March 31st and they will have up to 12 months to pay their bills. That means they have until March of 2022 to pay their bills,” said MLGW Spokeswoman Gale Jones Carson.
There’s also a program called On Track that allows people more time to pay their bills and customers must have a minimum balance of $600. Customers must be approved by calling 901-528-4820.
UPDATE 2/24 (6:30 a.m.)
FOX13 spoke with MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson this morning on when the boil water advisory would possibly be lifted.
She said the company is getting closer to its goal, but could not give a day or time when the advisory would be lifted.
MLGW crews are working around the clock to get the problem fixed.
The company has fixed more than 3,000 leaks at this time.
Carson said an excessive amount of water is still being used. Customers are asked to conserve water.
MLGW will issue a formal press release as soon as the boil water advisory is lifted.
Tuesday, MLGW announced that they’ve gone from a red status to now a yellow status, but there’s a lot of areas that still need work and need their pressure fixed. So far 89 water mains have been repaired.
12 were repaired Tuesday and 14 Monday.
There have been contractors and companies like TDEC that are helping with the process.
“We’re sending them out to areas where we suspect a leak and where we see pressure differences in our system. They’re here to help us out of this crisis and then they’ll be done,” said the Vice President of Engineering and Operations Nick Newman.
They said customers should put off non-essential water use and report any busted pipes in their area. Next Tuesday customers can call in if they need additional time for bill payments.
There is an extended payment plan that would give customers up to a year in additional time to pay their bills, but customers have to apply by March 31st. They’re discontinuing cutoffs for nonpayment until further notice as they navigate the boil water advisory and work toward water sampling.
Tuesday, they collected 30 to 40 samples and found no bacteria in the water, but water pressure is still low in some areas. They’ll continue testing throughout the week. There’s still no timeline on when the advisory will be lifted.
“Once we verify that the water quality reaches standards and the system is satisfied and the state is satisfied, then we can lift the advisory,” said TDEC Environmental fellow David Money.
For assistance with any of the programs for payment extensions, you can call 901-528-4820.