Colonial Estates water woes may be coming to an end

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A plan to tie the Colonial Estates area of Jackson County into the city's water system is welcome news to many people who live there. More than 30 homes would be impacted, and the project would be funded with a $600,000 grant from the Mississippi Development Authority.

Howard Tupper lives in Colonial Estates and says while the water looks okay, it's actually not.

"You can't drink it," he said. "It will make you sick. And it smells and sometimes you'll get sediment in it."

A boil water notice is a sign of the times these days in the neighborhood. So are water filters, and plenty of bottled water. County officials are looking to tie the city of Ocean Springs water system into to old antiquated well after sealing it off.

"They have septic tanks, so we know that's not a good system when you've got a well in close proximity to your sewer. These people need water desperately," Ocean Springs Public Works Director Andre Kaufman said.

Lee Abell has lived here for 31 years, and says that change would suit her just fine.

"It certainly would. We've had it for years. You know, it's been bad, as far as the quality of the water, it's been bad ever since I've been out here and that's been a long time.

Jerry Tapp is the president of the neighborhood association. A new water system would put an end to a long running problem.

"Every time we have to dig up a pipe and fix a leak - $1,000, $2,000. We don't have the money to do that," Tapp explained.

While walking around the neighborhood today and speaking with folks, most of them say they would be more than happy to tie into the city of Ocean Springs water system. They also believe it's not just a matter of quality of life, it's a matter of the future of this area.

"We'd see a big increase in demand for the property and would really be much more attractive with a water supply and even a sewer system later on. But for right now, we'd just settle for the water system," Warren Strayham said.

In addition to tying into the Ocean Springs water system, county officials also say they'll seek a similar grant sometime next year in order to install a new sewer system to serve the Colonial Estates area.

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