BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A boil water notice is in effect for the entire city of Bay St. Louis until further notice. The control center for the city's water supply was compromised early Tuesday morning, and now residents and businesses are feeling the aftershock.
The city's main water well is attached to a device called a MotorSaver. It acts as a surge protector to keep the pump from getting damaged from excess electricity. Public Works officials speculate that overnight storms may have tripped the device, cutting off the pump. That means it may be Friday, at the earliest, before the city's water is back to normal.
"It seems like a lot of time to fix a situation like this," said resident Richard Kidd.
He moved to Bay St. Louis almost a decade ago. Since then, he's seen small boil notices on occasion, but nothing like this.
"As long as it doesn't kill my plants. I'm getting ready to water my plants. So, as long as they're safe, then I'm good."
A new MotorSaver was quickly installed Tuesday. But according to Public Works Director Buddy Zimmerman, a citywide shutdown requires extra precautions. The water supply has to be tested for two consecutive days and the results take 24 hours to process.
For restaurant owner Roberto Iniguez, that's a hit to business.
"The thing is, I don't want to get in trouble if somebody gets sick if somebody drinks that water," said Iniguez, who has decided to close until the notice is lifted.
"Hopefully, it doesn't last too long," said Iniguez.
In Old Town, another restaurant has decided to work around the obstacle.
"We were going to try to stay open," said Ann Tidwell, owner of 200 North Beach. "We have canned Cokes, we have bottled water, and we're trying to follow the rules."
Tidwell has been open for three years, but this is a new experience for her.
"We haven't had anything like this, but we'll handle it. It's okay," said Tidwell.
Public Works officials will start testing the water supplies throughout the city Wednesday morning. They don't anticipate any issues with the results, but do want people to continue boiling water until further notice.