JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - For people living in Jackson County's Gulf Park Estates, the possible sale of the area's primary water source is welcome news.
Total Environmental Solutions Incorporated (TESI) has been in operation since 2000. The company has been cited several times in the past by the state public service commission for water system violations.
Now, a larger company is looking to buy TESI and make improvements. Those improvements can't come soon enough.
Alan Patrick chooses not to drink water from the tap.
"The water is horrible. It stinks. It's dirty. You have to boil it for you to cook with," Patrick explained. "I don't even like giving it to my dog. Something needs to be done about it."
Wayne Chaney, who lives in a condo complex, likes the idea.
"I think anything that would benefit the community and water quality would be a good thing. So a larger company that could ensure better quality would be a good thing," Chaney said.
For him, safety is another consideration for the people who live here.
"We had a boil water notice as recently as two or three weeks ago and so it's a concern for us because we need to make sure that the water is clean for drinking," said Chaney.
It's a complaint you hear over and over again from area residents.
"The water quality is terrible. The water has a brown tint to it and you fill my swimming pool up for my grandkids, and the water is brown in it. We have to buy all the water and filter all the water that we drink," said John Royal.
The company's customer service is also questionable. When we ran across an employee at a lift station, we asked if they had a local office. He said yes, but he wouldn't give us directions to the office. When we finally found the office, we came upon a locked door marked with a sign that said employees only.
With TESI in charge, bottled water is a way of life for Donna Necaise.
"We have to buy bottled water, a case or two cases a week," Necaise said. "We can't drink it, it's real nasty, it leaves your tub brown looking when you take a bath."
Those days may soon be coming to an end.
We have left messages with TESI for response to this story, but they have not been returned. Before any sale could be finalized, it would have to be approved by state regulators. That's a process that could take several weeks.