MLGW boil water advisory lifted; water pressures back to normal

Memphis, Tenn. — The words that MLGW customers have been waiting to hear for eight uncertainty-filled days were finally spoken Thursday.

“No need to boil water any longer as of right now,” MLGW president and CEO J.T. Young said. “Continue to use the conservation measures through about 10 in the morning and then we’re good to go after that.”

Young said water samples are bacteria-free, so effective immediately, the boil advisory is no more.

Early Friday morning FOX13 spoke with MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson.

MLGW advises people to flush all faucets for at least two minutes, starting with the highest point in your home or building.

Any ice made during the boil advisory should be tossed out, in addition to checking water filters.

Carson said customers should shut off valves if leaks are occurring.

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“That just ensures that you flushed your system out of your house and make sure there is nothing in there,” MLGW VP of Engineering and Operations Nick Newman said. “Although we didn’t find anything, it’s just precautionary.”

Newman said customers may see water coming out with a red tint. He says this is iron but just let it run until it’s clear.

Newman also said you may see MLGW employees opening fire hydrants to flush out their system as well.

Here’s the damage report according to MLGW: of the 135 ruptured mains, 121 have been repaired. He says most of the 14 unrepaired mains have been fixed but this to be updated in the system.

Water pressures are back to normal.

Young did address the issue of billing. He says there may be customers who had leaks, leading to higher bills.

“We are in the process of creating an automated way to ensure that no customer is adversely impacted from a cost standpoint for a leakage on their side that may have occurred as a result of this,” Young said. “So give us a few days to get that in place.”

MLGW shared the following instructions:

What customers should do next?

• Turn on the main water valve if it has been closed.

• Flush any faucet a minimum of two minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet. Begin with the faucet that is highest up in your home or building and then open the other faucets one at a time moving from the highest floor to the lowest.

• Discard any ice made during the boil water notice.

• Check water filters (in faucets, refrigerators and elsewhere) and replace if necessary.

• Owners and managers of large buildings should ensure that their entire system is flushed and that storage tanks are drained and refilled.

If the water is discolored:

• Flush water pipes by running the water until it is clear.

• Do not wash clothes if the water is discolored. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap. Wash a load of dark clothes first.

If you have questions regarding this matter, you may contact MLGW’s Water Quality Assurance Lab at 320-3950, or email

Shelby County Schools spokesperson Jerica Phillips said SCS schools will be ready to open Monday, March 1.

Water fountains will remain closed but bottled water will be provided for students and teachers. Sinks will be available for handwashing and hand sanitizer will also be provided.

RELATED: Water finally restored in Shelby County community after 9 days

MLGW’s boil advisory went into effect on February 18, as winter storms wreaked havoc on the Memphis water supply.

Since then, MLGW customers have been advised to conserve their water and boil it before consumption.

MLGW said more than $3.5 million was spent on repairs, fixing 98 out of 119 broken water mains damaged by frigid temperatures and February ice and snowstorms.

RELATED: MLGW offers extended payment plans; suspends disconnects until further notice

Earlier this week, MLGW said the water level was at red. On Wednesday, the water level was moved from yellow to green, meaning that water pumps and usage got closer to a better overall flow.

RELATED: MLGW asks customers to reduce water use amid freezing temperatures

Earlier today, the utility company said that they were sending a few more water samples off to be tested but that no contaminants had been found in the Memphis water so far.

Even though the boil water advisory notice has now been lifted, MLGW is still asking customers to conserve their water through 10 a.m. Friday as restorations around the city continue to be made.