Jackson County Neighbors Angry Over Ongoing Boil Water Notice

Carolyn Humphrey only uses her tap water to wash dishes and to take a shower. Humphrey says "First, we have no water pressure. Then we have no water, and then they put us under a boil water ban, so we can't drink the water".

Humphrey is among 57 customers of Beach Bayou Water System in Jackson County. They've been under a boil water advisory for two weeks now. But, the sign has actually been up several times over the past few months. Humphrey says "Every time I turn around it's back out there. I mean it's getting ridiculous".

That means, the residents are forced to buy bottled water or boil it. Vera Ramsay says "I don't drive, so I boil my water. I also bought a purifier to clean the water".

Sherry Helveston says "We have to pay a bill of $19.80 a month, but they never deduct anything for the inconvenience.  I'm really frustrated".

The residents are also afraid of what's coming out of their faucet. Ronald Windorf says "I don't think the water's safe. I don't even like boiling it, because I don't trust it".

The water system is owned by Total Environmental Solutions Incorporated, or TESi. The district supervisor says there are several reasons why the boil notices keep going up.

Steven Jones says "We started off with some scheduled maintenance that caused an outage, that they were notified about in advance. We went from there to a power failure that caused the well not to operate until the power could be turned back on. Then we went to a lightning strike that caused some damage to the electrical system that took several attempts to fix".

Jones asks customers to be patient as the company tries to fix an aging water system, that it took over two years ago. Jones says "Repairs are ongoing. When systems like these are not maintained over the years, it's very hard to come back in and bring them back up to a good level".

Some of the changes include installing a new chlorine system to disinfect the water and replacing the motor and pump on the well. The company also plans to put in an emergency back up system to make sure customers will continue to get water, in case the well fails. Jones says he expects the latest water boil notice will be lifted Friday.

By: Trang Pham-Bui